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Full text of "Popular science news, formerly Boston journal of chemistry. A popular illustrated monthly devoted to the progress in zoology, botany, mineralogy, archaeology, hygiene, invention, with related physical sciences and general scientific information"

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l\v,^o.ifj:S 3 Sliein^a 












January- December, 1890. 




Articles marhcd ivith {*) arc illustrated. 


Accident, A Remarkable 150 

Accident, An Instructive 185 

Acids, 'I'ransportation of T 

Aerial Navigation 52 

Agassi/. Association 7, ',>, 22, 38, 54, 71, 86, 101, 118. 

134, 151, lti7, 182, 185 

Agricultural Items 68 

Air. Burning in Furnaces 41 

Air, Compressed as a Motive Power 22 

Alaskan l.urial 56 

\icoliols. The 138 

Alloy, A New 7 

Alum in liread 8 

Aluminium 52 

Aluminium Alloys, Cheap Production of 153 

*Amar>'llis, Curious Movement of 161 

American Association, Indianapolis Meeting of 153, 154 

American Psychical Society 41 

Amoeba , The 3 

Aiiclior Ice 163 

Ancients. Arithmetical Calculation Among 114 

Ancients, Scientific Knowledge of ■ - 6, 21, 37 

\ninial Intelligence 172 

Anti-Cigarette Legislation 153 

Ants. To Drive Away 68 

Appendicitis 101 

Aryan Race, Origin of 169 

Astronomical Phenomena (monthly). .12, 28, 45, 60, 75, 91, 108, 

: 124, 140, 157, 173, 189 

Atlantic Racing, cost of 36 

Aurora. Height of 9 

*Autographisni 125, 144, 148, 1^5 

Autumn, Prenionititms of 123 

Bacteria, Microbes, etc. 

Baking Powder, Poisonous 

Base Hail, Electrical 

Battery, Au Kconomical 

Beer, Ancient 

Biology, Brief Studies in 3, *42, 74, 98, 138, 171, 

liirds, Speed of Flight 

Blast, A Big 

Blood .Stains, Detection of 

Boiler Explosions. Causes of 

Boilers, To Fill 

Book. A Valuable 

Boracic Acid.. . ■> 

Brass, To Polish 

Bread, Stale, New Use for 

Brick P^stimates 

*Bridge, The English Channel 

British Association Meeting at Leeds 

British Association, Newcastle Meeting of 

lironze. Malleable 

Bronze, How l^ong Manufactured 

Burns, Salve for 

Cadmium, Atomic Weight of 

Camphor, Movements of, Upon Water 
' "arbons 


Carbon Compounds, Two 

Carpentry, Aboriginal 

'Cash Box, The Magic 

Catarrh, Nasal 

Celerj', To Preserve 

Centenarian, A Noted 

Characters, Acquired, Inheritance of .... 

*C,'hem'cal Laboratory, An Ancient 

t bemical Nomenclature 

Chemical Symbols, Ancient 

Ciiemistry, A Practical Use for 

Chemistry, Relation of, to Medicine 


Children's Nurses, School for 


Coal Cutter, Electric 

Coca in Bolivia 

Cocaine Pencils for the Skin 

Coco, Cacao, and Coca 

Coffee Beans, Artificial 

Cold Bed. The Deadly 

Color Blindness, An Experiment in , .. . 
Conductivity of Metals, Alterations in. . 

Consumption, Alleged Cure for 

Consumption, Open Air Exercise in.. . 

Crime, Is it a Disease ? 

Criminals. Abuse of Pardoning Power. 


Crystals, Fluid 

Culinary Recipes 

Curic>us Facts 

*CycIone, A Medieval 

Cyclone in the Azores, Results of 

Cyclone in New England 

Cypripedium Calceolus, Fertilization of. 


















. 61 

, 148 

















Dangerous Fun 36 

" Darwinism," Review of Wallace upon 82, 106 

Deer Forest, Pleasures of a t>8 

Dentists, Number in Germany 96 

Development, Photographic, Reversal by Eikonogen 185 

Dextrose. Synthesis of 153 

Dodder, The 67 

Doors, Electrical 70 

Ears, Operation for Prominent % 

Earth, Ceological Formation of 131 

Earth, Theories of Formation of 83 

Earthquake in California 105 

Earthworm, The 74 

Eating too Aluch 13 

"Eclipse, Total Solar 73, 109 

Education, Modern. Deficiencies of 169 

Eggs, Bacteria in 89 

Egyptian Language and Chronology 35 

Eiffel Tower, I'tiTization of 148 

TJght Hour Movement, Physiological View of 141 

Eikonogen, A New Developer 6 

Electrical and Magnetic Disturbances Produced by jRailway 

Trains 121 

Electrical Humbug, A Recent 121 

Electric Light for Binnacle 116 

Electricity, Case-hardening by 181 

Electricity in the Dairy 52 

Electricity, Limitations of 122 

Element, A New 57 

Elements, Apparent Transmutation of 9 

Elements, New Theory of 41 

*Elevator, A Novel 5 

Engineering Achievements, Modern 89 

•Erosion, .\tmnspheric, Cm-ious Effects of 

Evolution Club of Chicago 

Execution by Electricity 137, 

Eyes, Care of the 

Faith Cure Society, Disbandment of 

Fauna and Flora of Primitive and Recent Periods 

Fees, Medical, in New York 

Fight Between Wasp and Bee 55, 

Fingers, Peculiar Adhesive Power of 


Fire, Curious Methods of Making 

Fire-Flies, Light of ; ; 

Flames, ^Iusical 

Flash Powders, Photographic 

Florida, Rainy Season of 

Flowers, Mailing : 


Fluorine, Combinations, with Platinum and Gold. 

Flies of Prey 

Flora of Eastern and Western Hemispheres 

*Forces, Minute, Measurement of 

Foster's Flat 

Fretwork, To Varnish 

Fruit Blossoms 

Gases, Liquid 

Gas RIeter, An Honest 

Gas, Natural, Alleged .Solidification of 

Gelatine and Its Uses 

Geological Observations in 1890 

•Giant, A Prehistoric 

Glaciers, Their Formation and Movement. 

Glanders, A Cure of 

Glass Tubes, To Cut 

Gleanings ' 

( Uycerine 

Glycerine, Action on Vulcanized Rubber . 
(Jold . 

Gordius, The 

( drafting. Herbaceous 

Grapes, Novel Training of.. 
Graphites, Chemistry of the- 

•Grasses, About 

Grass of Parnassus 

Grasshojiper, The 

Gravitation, New Theory of. 
Gun, Gatling's Cast Steel . - - 


























Hailstones, Extraordinary .'»4, 138 

Horse-hair Snakes 169 

How Old is the World? i\^ 

H unyadi Janos 48 

Hybrids, Vegetable ■ -Sfi 

•Hydra, The .' 42 

Hydrophobia, Cure of 9 

Hypnotism HJO 

Hypnotism, Operation under . : 108 

Ice, A Natural 1(>3 

Incombustible Textile 70 

Indian Village, An .Ancient 43 


Indians of New Mexico, Dwellings of 67 

•Induction, Electric, Experiments in 129 

Industrial Memoranda 6,22,70, 118, 134,160,166, 181 

Industry, A Novel 134 

Infant Feeding, Dilution of Cow's Milk in 15 

Iiitluenza, The 25 

Ink, Invisible 4 

Insect Intelligence, Remarkable 55, 57 

Insulating Compound, New 70 

Iodine, " Colorless '" 105 

Iron, Ores of 149 

•Joule, James Prescott 1 

•Jugs ; How They Are Made 5;i 

Khojak Pass. The 1^- 

Knock-out, Physiology of 112 

Kochs' Consimiption Cure IWI 

*I.Aborator>' Devices, Some New ltl"> 

Laboratoiy Notes : 5.'l 

La Cirippe ; Report of Case .' 12^ 

Lake Cliamplain 164 

Lake Dwellers of Switzerland, The 17, 34, 51 

Lake (Juinsigamond, On tl>e Shores of 150 

Landrey, Dr. S. F 41 

•Leaf Mosaics 49 

Left Side of Body, Inferiority of 48 

•Length, The .Standard of IT 

Leyden Jar, A Simple 116 

Lick Observatory, A Visit to the 105 

Lick Telescope, Photographic Qualities of 121 

Light, Mechanical Equivalent of 41 

Lightning, Kinds of 117 

Lightning, Peculiar Freak of 10.'> 

Lightning, The Way of the 16;i 

Lint, Sterilized 4?< 

Literary Notes 12, 29, 45, W, 76. !)2, 109, 125, 141, 157, 173, l!)i» 

Low Water in Boilers 169 

Magnetic Experiment, Explanation of los 

, " Magnetic Man," A !!•" 

Magnet for Extracting Metallic Particles from the Body lis 

•Magic Square, An Ancient 74 

Malaria, Protection from 121 

Manure, Loss of, by Exposure. ^f- 

•Marine Animals, Rock-Boring 12:i 

Measles. Child Born with the ti4 

Medical Congress, Tenth International 159 

Medical Memoranda 16, 64 

Medical Miscellany 32,48,96, 112, 128, 144 

Medicine, Rational Use of 77 

Medicine, Relation of Chemistry to *'I 

Medicine, State Regulation of 126,174 

Mental Trait, A Curious 50 

Mercury Mine, A New 52 

Mercury, Rotation Time of ; - 67 

Metals, Uncommon , but Useful 132 

Meteorite Containing Organic Matter 41 

Meteorological Report (monthly) 11, 27. 44. 59, 75, 91, 107. 

124, 139, 156, 172, 189 

Metric System, Modern Adoption of 89 

Mexican < )nyx 164 

Microbe Killer 32 

Microptione, A New Use for ■ 116 

•Microscope for Pharmacists, A 141 

Microscopic Exhibits, Curious VJ\) 

Microscopical Meeting at Detroit 14*i 

Milk, Consumption of, in Paris 6h 

Mineralogy. Course in 22 

Mining, .Safety of 7 

Mizar, The Star •. 132 

Mole Crickets : 24 

Montpelier l^niversity, Sixth Centennial of 114 

Moon's Surface, Temperature of 9 

M usic as a M edicine i**i 

Musk, Artificial 4 

Nail Holes, To Fill 85 

Natural (ias, Reduced Supply of 185 

Natural History Observations in 1890 '. 168 

•Natural History Observations in 1890 (Walter's). 183 

New Mexico, Botanical Notes from 147 

New Mexico, Mineral Wealth of 58 

New Mexico. Water Ways of 122 

Nitrous Acid, .Solidification of 38 

Norumbega, An Ai»cient City 9 

Nutmeg in Sledicine, The ' 16 

Observations, Original 8. 24 

•Observatory, Eiffel Meteorological 81 

Oil Wells, 101 

Old Age Ill 

( )leomargarine Tjegislation, Proposed 41 

Optical Phenomena, Wonderful 9!t 

Orchids, Rhode Island 148 


Oxygen Apparatus, Explosion of 41 

Oxygen, Atomic Weight of 41, 153 

Oxygen , Easy Preparation of 1-' 

Oxygen ( »as. To Prepare Safely 1^*- 

Oxygen. Ordinarv' Actions of l(>r> 

Paper Pulleys If'ti 

Paper, To Waterproof ST* 

Paris Letter 26, 69, 90, 123, 155, l!^ 

Pasteur Institute, New York 175 

Patent Medicines. Some Old Tifi 

Pearl, The f.« 

Pendulum Experiment in Earth's Motion 1H4 

Periodic System , The 1 

Pestle Handles, Cement for 181 

Petrifactions and Fossils 102 

Pharo-Light, A New 84 

Phcenicians. Modern F^nglish Descendants of 73, 148 

Phonograph as an Acoumeter , 9(5 

Phonograph. Improvement in the 4 

Phosph()rus, TWo Forms of G9 

Photographs. Ink for Writing on ll*i 

Photography 4*1 

Photography Abroad 120 

Photography for Deciphering Writing ll*i 

Photography, Instantaneous, Recent Improvements in 7fl 

♦Photography, Novelties in 20 

Photography for Physicians 157 

Photographic Amateurs, Hints to 85 

Photographic Films ItW 

Photographic Points, Practical 40 

Photometric Balance 179 

Phthisis in Switzerland 04 

Pigments, Our Common 117 

Pile Dwellers 104 

Pills, Chinese 32 

Pinholes in Platinum, To Solder - - ■ ■ 150 

Pipes, Tarred 16*> 

Plants for Shady Places 179 

Plants, Hot Water *. 2() 

•Pneumatics, Curious Experiment in 113 

Poison , African Arrow 121 

Practical Recipes l(i*i 

Prescription , A Unique .' 32 

Proto-Helveles. The - 17, 34, 51 

Proverbs, Old, F'rom a Scientific Standpoint 25 

Questions and Answers 12,29,45, 92, 109, 125, 140, 104, 190 

Quinine Sulphate, Non-actinic Property of . ^ 26 

Railroad Tariff, A Novel 68 

Railway, A Remarkable 134 


Railways, Japanese 70 

Railway Systems, Future Extent of 73 

Railway Ties. Steel 150 

Ranunculus, Double, Traced by a Stream of Water 55 

Recipes, Practical 85 

Respiration, Artiticial, New Instrument for 78 

Ring Finger, Increasing Mobility of 142 

Robins, Colorado. A Pair of 72 

Rock Inscriptions. Swedish, Prehistoric 42 

Roofing Material, A New 52 

Rope, Cork HO 

Rosetta Stone, The 35 

Rubber Pavements 181 

Rust, To Prevent 84 

Saccharin in Belgium 112 

Salicylic Acid as a Food Preservative 137 

.Scale in Boilers 70 

Science, Assumptions of 57 

Science, Twenty Years of ■ 20 

Scientific Brevities 4, 20, 3(), 52, 84, 110. 1.32. IW. 79 

•Scientific Experiments, Simple fv^, 97, 113 

•Scientific Recreations 2,81, 145 

•Scientific Station, Highest in Europe 170 

•Seed Planter, A Chinese *■ 85 

Semitic Races, Place of < >rigin 73 ■ 

•Sepulchre, An Ancient 178 

Shingle Paint - lOti 

Siberian Railway, The 101 

Silver '. 180 

Silver, To Detect , in Presence of Lead 70 

Sleep 46 

Smoke Machine 181 

Snail, The 171 

Snakes Swallowing Their Young 134 

Soap, Blue 70 

Sodic Carbonate, Manufacture of 149 

Specialism in Medicine 174 

•Spiders, Two Remarkable 177 

•Spider Webs : How Spun 101 

Sponges, Artificial. Industry in 4 

Spring Prelude. The 72 

Star, A Variable 30 

Starfish, The 138 

Statue , A Double 26 

.Steamship, A Novel 169 

Steamship Racing on the Atlantic Ocean 105 

Steel. Crushed - 130 

.Steel, Hydrogen Occluded in 22 

Stellar Motions, Spectroscopic Analysis of 178 

Stencil Ink '• 106 

Stomach Brush, The 15 


.Stomach, Hair Halls from 10 

Sulph\ir, Affinity of Metals for 179 

Summary of itledical Progress (monthlv) 14. 31, 4(>. 0,'(. 79. 

' . 110, 127, 14::. 100. 17.-.. 191 

Sunnner Schools. SK 

Tariff "Bill, Effect upon Science 185 

Telegraph, ( )ptical 121 

Telephone, New Application of 181 

Telephony, State 5.3 

TheiyfihotniSy Giganteus, Notes on I.'i4 

Thermometer, An Expensive o(KI 

Thermometer, Scales 4 

Thioketone 121 

Thinider Storm, Winter 57 

Trance, State of S4 

Transparencies in Prussian Blue 5 

•Tree, A Curious 140 

Tuberculosis, Transplanting i*0 

Tube Press, Hydraulic 1 18 

Ultramarine - 37 

Va-seline and .Soluticms, To Mix 04 

Vertebrata, The 187 

Vitality lOi) 

Vivisection 137 

War Rocket, A New i;!4 

Warts 2!> 

Waterproofing Cloth 181 

•Water Still, A Simple W 

Water Supplv, Pollution of 137 

Waves. Heig'ht of 120 

Wave Power, Cause of. .'>7 

Well, (las. Fresh and Salt Water Combined 20 

Wesley, John, Medical Talk by 01 

WJiite Lead, Wet Process for Alanufacturing liiO 

Wild Roses 120 

Winter Cough, Ammonium Chloride in .'JO 

Winter Weather. Unusual 25 

Women in Pharmacy iH 

Woods in Winter, The 30 

•Writing in Railroad Cars, I )evice for .■>7 

Yellow Fever, <Iin as a Remedy for 10.") 

Ye Olden Time 22 

Zinc 22 

Zinc in Artesian Well-water I8r> 

Zinc, Native Metallic 2 

^p /^S 

€|)e ^ojJttlar ^cttnce i^etu0 



Volume XX1\' 


Familiar Science. — James Prescott Joule . . i 

The Periodic System i 

Scientific Recreations 2 

15rief Studies in Biology 3 

Fauna and Flora of Primitive and Recent 

Periods 3 

Scientific Brevities 4 

Practical Che.mistry and the Art.s. — The 

English Channel Bridge ....... 5 

A Novel Elevator 5 

Transparencies in Prussian Blue .... 5 
The Scientific Knowledge of the Ancient 

Greeks and Romans 6 

Eikonogen, a New Photographic Developer . 6 

Industrial Memoranda 7 

The Out-Door World. — Original Observa- 
tions S 

Gleanings 8 

Editorial. — Fluorescence 9 

The British Association at Newcastle ... 10 
Meteorology for November. 1889, with Review 

of the Autumn 11 

Astronomical Phenomena for January, 1890 12 

{.^lestions and Answers iz 

Literary Notes 12 

Medicine and Pharmacy.- — Is Crime a Dis- 
ease? I'J 

We Eat Too Much 13 

Monthly Summary of Medical Progress . . 14 

An Experiment in Color-Blindness .... 15 
On the Dilution of Cow's Milk in Infant 

Feeding 15 

The Stomach-Brush 15 

Hair-Balls from the Stomach 16 

Formyl Amidophenol Ether 16 

The Nutmeg in Medicine 16 

Medical Memoranda 16 

Publishers' Column 16 

Fan^iliar Scierjce. 


One of the most distingiii.shecl scienti.sts ol" 
the present century died at Sale, near Man- 
chester, England, on the i ith of last October. 

James Prescott Joule was born at Salford, 
near Manchester, in the year 18 r8. His 
health was so delicate that he was not sent to 
school, but received his first elementary edu- 
cation from his mother. At the age of fifteen 
he commenced his scientific studies, under the 
tuition of the eminent chemist, Dalton, the 
discoverer of the atomic weights, who was at 
that time President of the Manchester Literary 
and Philosophical Society. Under the direc- 
tion of his instructor he made some more or 
less important investigations upon the consti- 
tution of gases and vapors, and the effect upon 
them of heat, but his first personal researches 
were made in 183S upon the subject of mag- 
netism. In 1840 he discovered the principle 
of magnetic saturation, or the limit beyond 
which it is impossible to increase the power 
of a magnet. 

AlK)ut this time he suggested an electric 


Number i. 

unit to express the power of the current. As 
the molecular weight of water was at that 
time considered to be nine, he proposed to use 
as unit of quantity that amount of electricity 
which would decompose nine grains of water. 
Although this unit has never been accepted, 
an international congress of electricians has 
recently given his name to a practical unit of 
electric work, based on the modern system of 
electric measurements. The ampere, which 
now replaces Joule's proposed unit, is the 
current which will deposit .0014888 grammes 
of silver in one .second. 

Joule's gi'eatest fame, however, is due to his 
demonstration of the great principles of the 
conservation of energ)-, and the mechanical 
equivalent of heat. Count Rumford, in the 
last century, experimented upon the develop- 
ment of heat by the friction produced in 

very first, and at once became a firm supporter 
of Joule's theories, and was a co-worker with 
him for many years. 

This discovery of the connection between 
the great forces of Nature was an epoch in 
scientific history, and was to physics, what 
the discovery of oxygen and the true nature 
of combustion was to chemistry. His other 
work alone would have given Joule a high 
rank in the scientific world, but it has been 
almost completely overshadowed by this great 
physical and mathematical generalization, 
which he was the first to formulate in defi- 
nite terms. 

The accompanying portrait is reproduced 
from La Nature' 

boring a cannon, and in August, 1843, at a 
meeting of the British Association, at Cork, 
Joule, after referring to Rumford's researches, 
stated that he was "convinced that, by the 
will of the Creator, the great principles of 
Nature are indestructible ; each time that a 
mechanical force is exerted in any way, an 
equivalent quantity of heat is always pro- 

At this day, when the doctrine of the con- 
servation of force is undisputed, and is one of 
the corner stones of science, it seems strange 
that the new theory was by no means unani- 
mously accepted by the leading scientists of 
the day. Even Faraday was not convinced 
of its truth for several years, and Miller and 
Graham doubted it at first ; but Sir 
William Thomson comprehended the truth 
and importance of tlie generalization from the 


Every elementary body combines with 
others in definite proportions by weight 
which are unchangeable. Hydrogen, which 
combines in the smallest proportion of all, is 
taken as unity, and its combining number, 
or atomic weight, is considered as r. Oxy- 
gen has an atomic weight of 16, and never 
combines with hydrogen except in that pro- 
portion, or a multiple of it. Thus in water, 
one atom of oxygen with a weight of 16 is 
combined with two atoms of hydrogen with 
a weight of 2, giving the proportion of 2 to 
16. Another compound of hydrogen -and 
o.xygen, known as peroxide of hydrogen, 
contains two atoms of hydrogen and two of 
oxygen, giving the proportions 2 to 32. The 
element carbon has an atomic weight of 12, 
and unites with four atoms of hydrogen to 
form marsh gas, which contains four parts by 
weight of hydrogen to twelve of carbon. 
Oxvgen and carbon unite to form carbonic 
acid gas, which contains one atom of carbon 
with a weight of 12, united to two atoms of 
oxygen weighing 32. These proportional or 
atomic weights with which all elements com- 
bine with one another, are determined by 
direct analysis, and are always fixed and 

Now if we arrange the elements in certain 
horizontal and vertical lines, so as to form a 
table, commencing with lithium with its atomic 
weight of 7, and ending with uranium with a 
weight of 240, we obtain a most remarkable 
result. We find that in this table, the ele-. 
ments form themselves into groups of those 
which most closely resemble each other in 
other chemical and physical characteristics 
besides their atomic weights, The alkaline 


[January, 1890. 

metals lithium, sodium, and potassium, which 
very closely resemble each other in their 
chemical relations, form a group by them- 
selves ; as likewise do the non-metallic ele- 
ments fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine, 
which are distinguished by the ease with 
which they all unite with hydrogen to form 
powerful acids, as well as in many other 
ways. There are seven of these groups, 
besides another one which comprises certain 
metals related to iron and platinum, the place 
of which in the system is not well fixed. 
This remarkable and important principle, 
/ which is called the "periodic law," was first 
pointed out by Newlands, in 1864, but was 
more fully developed and brought into gen- 
eral notice a few years ago by Mendelejefl" 
and Meyer, who are generally credited with its 
discovery. Briefly stated, it may be expressed 
that, The qitantivalence and many other 
chemical characteristics of the elements are 
a function of their atomic weights, and it 
is, undoubtedly, the key to many chemical 
mysteries which at present we cannot well 
understand, and much adcHtional study will 
be necessary before we shall know how to 
use the key properly, and comprehend the 
full significance of the law of nature which is 
dimly hinted to us in this periodic grouping 
of the elementary bodies. 

When the elements are arranged as above 
described in groups and series, we find that 
they are not continuous and unbroken. Many 
blank spaces remain to be filled by elements 
possessing an atomic weight between that of 
their nearest neighbors. It is a striking proof 
of the truth of this theory that, since it was 
first brought forward, some of these vacancies 
have been filled by newly-discovered elements. 
When the original table of groups was drawn 
up, there was a vacancy between the elements 
zinc (65) and arsenic (75), which indicated 
the existence of a trivalent element interme- 
diate in atomic weight between those two 
metals. MendelejefF predicted the discovery 
of this element, and the chemical properties 
which it should possess, and gave it the pro- 
visional name of ekaluminium. Shortly 
afterwards, the metal gallium was discov- 
ered, possessing the predicted properties, 
and having the intermediate atomic weight 
of 69.8. Another example is afforded by 
the metal scandium, which agrees closely in 
its properties and atomic weight (44) with 
an element intermediate between calcium 
and titanium, whose existence was predicted 
by Mendelejefl", under the provisional name 
of ekabor. 

To what further discoveries this wonderful 
law may lead, it is impossible to say, but it 
undoubtedly indicates a closer connection 
"between what have been considered as defi- 
nite and distinct forms of matter, than has 
hitherto been supposed. We cannot over- 
look the hint of an inorganic evolution of the 

difltrent forms of matter from one primordial 
substance, analogous to the difterentiation of 
plants and animals from simpler and lower 
forms of life, now so generally accepted by 
biologists. But, whatever may have been the 
conditions governing the existence and mani- 
festations of matter in the early ages of our 
universe, the impossibilit}' of a change from 
one form of matter to another at the present 
time and under the existing conditions, seems 
almost certain. Not a single fact is known 
which leads us to suppose that it is possible 
for the chemist to change hydrogen into oxy- 
gen, for instance, or mercury into gold. 
But, judging from the previous achievements 
of scientific research, we are on the verge of 
some wonderful and revolutionary discoveries, 
which, to say the least, will profoundly mod- 
ify our present views in regard to the con- 
stitution of matter, and the laws governing 
the phenomena which it exhibits. 

A VERY pretty experiment in inertia can 
be performed with a dice box and two dice, 
held in the hand as shown in the engraving. 
It is required to toss the two dice into the 
box, one after the other. The problem at 
first sight appears ridiculously simple, and so 
it is for the first die, but it will be found 
almost impossible to toss the second one into 
the box without throwing out the one alreadv 

diflicult to move the box directly under the 
second die, so that it shall fall into it without 
throwing out the first one. Like all experi- 
ments of this sort, a little practice is necessary 
to do it successfully, but the trick is soon 
learnt, and is an amusing one in itself, as well 
as an illustration of the fact that, owing to 
the principle of inertia, a body does not 
commence to fall at the exact instant that its 
support is withdrawn. 

The second illustration shows very plainly 
the proper way of bending a glass tube — a 
very simple matter, but one in which chemi- 
cal amateurs often come to grief. The whole 
secret is to heat a considerable portion of the 
tube by moving it back and forth lengthwise 
in the flame, at the same time slowlv revolv- 
ing it between the fingers. When the tube is 
thoroughly and uniformly softened for a space 

there by the same movement. It can, how- 
ever, be performed as follows : After tossing 
the first die into the box, hold the second one 
with the fingers so that it shall be somewhat 
higher than the bottom of the box and the 
die within it. Then give a quick downward 
movement with the hand, at the same instant 
letting go of the die held in the fingers ; 
the latter will not move quite as (juickly as 
the hand and dice box, and it will not be 

of about two inches, remove it from the 
flame, and bend it into the desired curve. 
Take plenty of time, as the glass will not 
harden immediately. In the engraving, a 
spirit lamp is represented, but an ordinary 
gas burner gives a broad flame of just the 
right shape for heating the tube, which 
should be held in the upper part of it, where 
it is hottest. A dense coating of soot, or 
carbon, will be deposited upon the glass by 
the lamp flame, but it will do no harm, and 
can be easily wiped ofl' after the tube has 
cooled. If it is desired to draw the tube out 
to a point, heat it in the same waj , and pull 
gently but firmly, with both hands. If a long, 
slender point is desired, the tube must be 
removed from the flame before drawing out ; 
but to make a short, blunt point, heat the 
glass till it is quite soft, and draw out slowly 
without removing it from the flame. 

The accompanying engravings are repro- 
duced from La Nature. 

Native Zinc. — In the laboratory of the State 
Mining Bureau in San Francisco a discovery was 
made recently which is highly prized. In working 
a specimen of sulphide or blende ore sent from a 
mine in Shasta County, Cal., a small piece of 
native metallic zinc was secured. This is the first 
piece of the character named ever known to have 
been secured in this country. Late works on met- 
allurgy note the existence in the mines of Victoria, 
Australia, of the only native metallic zinc known. 
The Mining Bureau will endeavor to secure other 
specimens from Shasta County. 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 


[Original in The Popular Science N ws.] 




The delightful field ot knowledge which modern 
biology has opened, has scarcely yet been explored 
by the intelligent general reader, so recently has it 
been added to the realm of science. It is therefore 
believed that a series of brief studies, which may 
serve to guide the reader to an apprehension of the 
leading facts and principles of the science of life, as 
known at the present day, may be acceptable to 
many. Our method will be to study a number of 
forms of animal life, seeking to find out how they 
illustrate, in the forms of their bodies and the carry- 
ing on of their life processes, the laws which govern 
the world of animate nature. Naturally, we shall 
begin with the simplest of organic beings, and pro- 
ceed in order toward the highest forms. 

What, then, is the simplest form of animal life.' 
The word which stands at the head of this article is 
the name of a typical unicellular animal, found 
everywhere in pools of stagnant water, which biolo- 
gists commonly refer to as a representative of the 
lowest class of animal organisms, viz. : the Protozoa. 
The amceba is a very tiny creature, visible only by 
the aid of the microscope. But it is so simple in 
structure that one can get quite a correct idea of it 
from a description. Imagine how a bit of uncooked 
white of egg, spread out flat and of an irregularly 
rounded form, would look, and you have a very 
good notion of the appearance of the amoeba under 
the microscope. And a notion obtained in this way 
is not only correct as to the appearance of the organ- 
ism, but also as to the nature of the material of 
which the body is made. For the albumen of which 
white of egg consists, in its chemical and physical 
properties is precisely similar to that substance, 
called protoplasm, which composes the bodies of 
the protozoan animals. 

But let us stop here to note a very important dis- 
tinction : If a bit of white of egg be left to itself, in 
a little while it wastes away; the oxygen of the air 
attacks it and converts it into new compounds. 
But if an amoeba be left to itself, under natural con- 
ditions, it does not undergo destructive change; it 
is endowed with a principle of life, by which it can 
resist the attacks of the oxygen. Thus, while the 
amceba, when subjected to the chemist's analysis, is 
found to consist of the same chemical elements as 
white of egg, — namely: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, 
and nitrogen, — it also possesses, in addition to this, 
a something else- — a something which enables it to 
maintain itself intact against external physical 
forces. This something is life. We may sav that 
it is a force resident in the protoplasm of which the 
body of the organism consists. It is as well to call 
it the vital force, and to correlate it with the physi- 
cal forces, heat, electricity, magnetism, etc. And 
just as we do not know the real nature of these 
physical forces, but know them only by their mani- 
festations, so we do not know the real nature of life, 
and can only say that it manifests itself by certain 
phenomena, happening in more or less certain 
order, — that is to say, according to laws more or 
less known to us. The study of biology is the studv 
of the laws which govern the phenomena manifested 
by living bodies. 

Let us now return to the amoeba, understanding 
that the task before us is to observe and reflect upon 
the phenomena which it manifests. By watching a 
little while, one is sure to observe a change in the 
form of the body taking place. There is a thrusting 
out of one side into a club-like projection ; presently 
the rest of the body, by a kind of flowing motion, 

moves toward this projection. The animal is able 
to push out any side of its body in this way, so that 
when it wishes to change its direction it has no 
need to turn about, as those animals do which 
always move with one end forwards. These pro- 
jections are called pseudopodia, a word which means 
false feet; they are organs of locomotion, but, as 
they are formed for only temporary use, it is no 
more than right that their pseudo character should 
thus be recognized in their name. As the creature 
is moving about in this way, it may chance to come 
in contact with a particle of matter which it can use 
for food. If so, it immediately proceeds to swallow 
it. But, as the organism has no mouth nor stoinach, 
— being only a bit of structureless homogeneous 
protoplasm, saving a central portion called the 
nucleus, — it must improvise a digestive cavity as 
occasion demands, just as it improvises feet when it 
wishes to move. It simply flows round the particle 
until it is completely enclosed in its body-substance, 
where it then undergoes digestion. Beyond doubt, 
the amceba digests and assimilates its food — in other 
words, performs the general function of nutrition — 
just as perfectly as the higher animals do, though 
destitute of any special organs for carrying out this 
function. Its food is of just the same nature as that 
of the higher animals, consisting of organic matter, 
such as minute plant cells, and water. It takes this 
food into its body and converts it into its own sub- 
stance (assimilates.) As a result of this process, 
the amceba shows increase of size, or growth. The 
facts at hand, then, are that the simplest animal 
organisms are able to procure food, to swallow, 
digest, and assimilate it, thus effecting growth and 
maintaining life, just as perfectly as the most highly 
organized animals. When it is called to mind that 
in the higher animals, as in man, there are several 
systems of organs — the digestive, the circulatory, 
and the excretory — which are subservient to the 
function of nutrition, it is seen that the problems of 
physiology, instead of being rendered simpler in the 
lowest organisms, are really more difficult to under- 
stand. We can only say that the protoplasm which 
constitutes the body of the amoeba is able of itself 
to perform the functions of the stomach, heart 
kidneys, etc., of the higher animals. 

Having thus seen that the amoeba is able to per- 
fectly discharge the physiological function of 
nutrition, — the function by which it is kept alive as 
an individual being, — let us now find out whether it 
is able to discharge the other fundamental function 
of living bodies, namely, reproduction — that by 
which its kind, or species, is kept alive. By patient 
watching it will be found that any amreba, after a 
greater or less length of time, undergoes division of 
its body into two parts. It is as if an invisible thread 
was passed around the body, and the loop drawn 
smaller and smaller, until the body was constricted 
into two. Each of these parts has all the powers of 
the being from which they were formed ; they are, 
in fact, a new generation of amcebas. Each is 
destined to grow to its full size, to nourish itself for 
a while, and then, in turn, by the simple process of 
self-division, to give rise to a new generation of its 
kind. Thus, by the simplest process we are able to 
think of, the function of reproduction — fundamental 
to all living beings — is effected. 

The manifestations of life seen in a study of the 
amceba may therefore be summarized as follows : 
(i) power of self-movement; (2) power of taking in 
outside matter as food and converting it into its own 
substance; (3) power of reproducing its kind. 

This sketch of a typical organism of the lowest 
grade in the scale of life would not be complete if it 
was not pointed out that the amceba is exactly simi- 
lar to certain cells found in bodies of all the higher 
animals, including num. It is well known that the 

blood consists of a liquid plasma in which float cor- 
puscles of two kinds, the red and white. Now the 
white corpuscles are almost precisely like amcebas. 
Like them, they consist of minute masses of proto- 
plasm, containing in their central part a nucleus ; 
and, like them, they are constantly undergoing 
changes of form. It is also highly probable that 
they nourish and reproduce themselves, just as 
amcebas do; at any rate, this affirmation can be 
made of other cells, especially during the embryonic 
period of life. 

In this connection it is instructive to draw this 
parallel : Of all the forms of animal life, the amoeba 
is the simplest, retaining with the least modification 
the properties of the elementary form of living 
matter, viz. : protoplasm. So, likewise, of all the 
cells of the body, the white corpuscles are the least 
specialized ; unlike the cells which go to make the 
nerves, muscles, and bones, they have not acquired 
special distinctive qualities, but retain in the least 
degree modified, the properties of elementary living 
matter. In other words, the amoeba stands at the 
bottom in the scale of animal life, and the white 
corpuscles, and other simple cells, stand at the 
bottom in the scale of the structural elements that 
go to make up the body. 

Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. 

[Original in The Popular Science Neici.l 




It is singularly strange, in this age of progress 
i.nd advanced science, to find some people who call 
themselves learned still persisting that the present 
fauna and flora are but pigmies in comparison to 
those which are extinct. Thanks to the advance- 
ment in paleontological researches, we know the 
former and present fauna and flora, for it teaches us 
about the animals and plants which have existed on 
the earth, but, for the most part, do not at present 
exist. The history of the present fauna and flora is 
a supplement or revised edition of the history of the 
fauna and flora of the primeval world ; no visible 
signs of a universal catastrophe of animal and vege- 
table life can be traced. The most marked change 
on the earth's surface took place at the close of the 
Mesozoic or Secondary period, when lycopods, 
ferns, cycads, and yew-like conifers passed away, 
and diocotyledonous angiosperms — the hard-wood 
trees and evergreens of today — succeeded them, but 
not by any sudden extinction, for some of these 
trees had already begun to make their appearance 
in Cretaceous times. Consequently, natural history 
is complete, because it embraces two classes of 
organic beings : those which still exist and those 
which are extinct. 

It seems natural in man to be imaginative and 
susceptible of wild, grotesque, and fabulous impres- 
sions of pre-existing organic forms. No doubt, 
primeval plants and animals of odd and rare descrip- 
tion are found, but it is by no means generally the 
case. Strange forms occur among petrified remains, 
as in the case of reptiles. Among these are found 
various saurians, or species of flying and swimming 
lizards, as the plesiosaurus and peterodactylus; 
among the mammalia, the dinotherium giganteum. 
But strange forms also exist at the present day ; for 
instance, the ornithorhynchus, ant-eater, sloth, and 
flying-dragon ; and, as a rule, those were just as 
rare formerly as these are now. The same holds 
good in regard to size of the organisms. The 
present equisetacea;, or horse-tails, are usually a 
foot high (seldom exceeding four feet), and about 
the thickness of one's thumb ; our lycopodiacei, or 
mosses, consist of tendrils with thin, branching 
stems, which wind along the ground between the 


[January, 1890. 

heather. Now we find petrified equisetaceae which 
are as thick as one's arm or leg, and Ijcopodiacese 
which have grown to large trees; but we find noth- 
ing in the petrified plants that can compare to our 
oaks, cedars, pines, and other giant trees, — there is 
no specimen on record of more than four feet in 
diameter. And if we are told of the enormous size 
of the ichthyosaurus, dinotherium, and others 
among the fossil animals, the mammoth, or elephas 
primogenius, was not materially larger than the 
present Asiatic elephant. We can show that our 
oceans and seas contain gigantic whales which 
exceed in size the largest types of fossil fauna. 

Much has been said about the mammoth in Bibli- 
cal and natural history. According to some, the 
name is corrupted from behemoth, or the Russian 
"mammont," and which did not exceed the largest 
elephant in size ; on the contrary, it had a smaller 
head, weaker chest bones, and shorter and thicker 
legs. We are told, too, that fossil tusks of twelve 
feet or more have been found. Granted ; but we 
must remember that the tusks of elephants grow on 
till the animal dies, no matter how great be its age ; 
and, as the mammoth was neither tamed nor 
hunted for the sake of ivory, it could grow on and 
reach the advanced age that was natural to it. 

We know that the body of the northern whale 
sometimes reaches to sixty-six feet long, and at the 
fins, forty feet in circumference. The body of the 
sperm whale is sometimes seventy feet long, by 
thirty-eight in circumference, and the fin-backed 
whale exceeds all other animals in length, and often 
attains to one hundred feet, by ten in circumference. 
Now we look in vain for such monsters in the 
earlier periods of creation. The largest crocodiles 
average from twenty to thirty feet long, but this is 
considered small in comparison to the fantastic 
leviathans of the sea and huge land animals of the 
primeval world. When the bones of the iguanodon 
were first found, its length was immediately reckoned 
to be one hundred and sixty feet; but Prof. R. 
Owen surprised these superficial reckoners by 
reducing it to twenty-eight feet, of which three were 
for the head, twelve for the body, and thirteen for 
the tail. The hylseosaurus and megalosaurus are 
often supposed to reach from sixty to eighty feet, 
the mistake in calculation being based on the first 
find, of the size and massive form of a single bone, 
which does not determine the whole size of the 
body. Prof Owen's trustworthy computation puts 
the length of the former at twenty-five feet at most, 
and the latter at thirty feet. These are the most 
colossal land saurians ; the longest ichthyosaurus 
did not attain to more than thirty feet, and the 
dinotherium did not exceed twenty feet in length. 

Generally speaking, although many huge forms 
of the primitive world do not exist in the present 
condition of things, yet their places are filled by 
other massive forms, so that the present state of 
nature is not so very much inferior, if it is at all, to 
the earlier state, in respect to the size of the organic 
forms. On the other hand, animals of middle size, 
small, and even of microscopic dimensions, are not 
wanting in the fossil fauna. Whole beds of rock, 
with an aggregate thickness of hundreds — yea, 
thousands — of feet, are made up of shells which 
witness their perfect preservation. The polishing 
stone from Bohemia, which we know as tripoli, is 
only an accumulation of the flinty coverings of 
organisms known as diatoms — so minute that no 
less than 41,000,000,000 of them go to make up a sin- 
gle cubic inch of stone. There are similar deposits 
30 feet thick, and of great extent, in Virginia, known 
as "infusorial earth." The "greensands" of the 
chalk and other periods, in the same way are found to 
consist mainly of the casts of minute shells, from 
which the lime has been dissolved, — a phenomenon 

which is being even repeated in various parts at 
the bottom of existing oceans, each grain being the 
cast of a single shell. 

The abundance of microscopic life in early periods 
is beyond calculation ; this, of itself, leads us to 
imagine millions of years intervening between the 
primitive and present fauna and flora. It seems 
very probable that some of the great clayey accum- 
ulations of past geological formations may be really 
the remains of minute shells. Many enormously 
thick beds of limestone, extending over vast regions, 
are also simply the wreck of countless millions of 
similar humble forms of life. • Our chalk is an 
example, and so is a similar deposit still being 
formed over large areas of the Atlantic and Pacific 
at great depths, almost wholly from the debris 
of minute shells. Whole limestone ranges in Rus- 
sia, America, and Britain owe their origin to a no 
more dignified source. They are built up of the 
shells of foraminifera. The petroleum so largely 
obtained in this country and Russia, may have an 
animal origin, as the "bituminous schists" of 
Caithness are impregnated with oily matter, appar- 
ently derived from the decomposition of masses of 
fish in them through long periods. The so-called 
nummulite limestone (from the Latin nummus — 
money) attains a thickness of many thousand feet, 
and extends from the Alps to the Carpathians, 
while it plays a great part in the formation of 
mountains and hills in Asia Minor, Persia, India, 
and Africa ; yet it is the creation of innumerable 
disk or money-like shells, though very small. 

In comparing the animals and plants of the 
earlier and later periods, we find that the earliest 
differ most and the later ones least from the present 
fauna and flora. It is certain, from the evidence of 
paleontological records, that a development of ani- 
mals and plants from a lower to a higher torm has 
taken place with each period or organic change. 
This, of course, can be explained. The earliest 
formations contained scarcely any but the remains 
of a low organization — fiowerless plants, corals, 
mollusks, articulata ; there are very few signs of 
fish and reptiles, and, so far as is known, no birds 
or mammals. In the succeeding strata, more highlv 
organized forms are found ; in the Carboniferous 
period there are some conifers, many fish, and a 
few reptiles ; in the Triassic period, higher reptiles 
are found quite prevalent, and a few mammals ; 
in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, a few dico- 
tyledonous plants and endogenous trees, with a great 
prevaU nee of higher reptiles, fishes, and birds; and 
in the Tertiary period, many dicotyledonous plants 
and mammals. In all cases, the lower organisms of 
the animal and vegetable world appear first, and 
the higher organisms later. Thus, of the radiata, 
the crinoidese appeared first; of the fish, the tailed 
ganoid and placoid ; of the reptiles, the saurians; 
of the birds, the marsh and tufted birds ; of the 
mammals, the oppossums and cetacea. The organic 
forms differ most from those now existing in the 
earliest strata, and the differences diminish steadily 
all through the more recent deposits. 


Improvement on the Phonograph. — In the 
present phonograph, a stylus for impressing the 
wax is attached to the center of the vibrating dia- 
phragm. The new improvement of G. Bettini is to 
extend little rods from the stylus to several parts of 
the diaphragm. In this way greater exactness of 
tone and speech is obtained, so the inventor claims, 
and much superior results. 

Inheritance of Accjuired Character.s. — With 
regard to the question of the inheritance of injuries, 
a correspondent of Nature writes about an Irish 
terrier bitch which had a litter by a mongrel terrier 

whose tail had been cut off with a hatchet. Of the 
litter, one puppy was without a tail. The Irish 
terrier belonged to the writer, and he says that she 
had had several litters before, none of which were 
irt any way deformed. 

An Industry in Artificial Sponges is in pro- 
cess of creation. M. Oscar Schmidt, professor at the 
University of Gratz, in Styria, has invented a 
method by which pieces of living sponge are broken 
off and planted in a favorable spot. From very 
small cuttings of this kind. Prof Schmidt has ob- 
tained large sponges in the course of three years, at 
a very small expense. One of his experiments gave 
the result that the cultivation of 4,000 sponges had 
not cost more than 225 francs, including the interest 
for three years on the capital expended. The 
Austro-IIungarian government has been so much 
struck with the importance of these experiments 
that it has officially authorized the protection of this 
new industry on the coast of Dalmatia. 

Invisible Ink.— M. E. Pecard has published an 
account of this chemical discovery. It is a mixed 
acid procured by a solution of molybdic acid in 
boiling oxalic acid. He calls it oxalomolybdic acid. 
The crystals of this acid are insoluble in strong 
nitric acid, but they dissolve in cold water. Paper 
written upon with the solution shows nothing in a 
weak light, but when brought into the sunshine the 
written characters suddenly appear in deep indigo 
blue. Paper saturated with the solution and dried 
in the dark becomes blue when exposed to the sun, 
and on this blue surface white characters may be 
written by dipping the pen in water. The color 
disappears in contact with water, and the blue 
writing becomes black when exposed to the heat of 
a fire. 

Artificial Musk. — A remarkable oily liquid, 
having a brown color, and smelling so like musk 
that, it is said, very few noses are able to detect the 
difference between the natural product and the arti- 
ficial body, is obtained by a new process. Two 
parts of isobutyl alcohol, three parts of meta-xylol, 
and nine parts of chlorate of zinc [Qy. chloride], are 
are heated together for eight or nine days at a temper- 
ature of about 440° or 450° F. in a strong vessel, the 
pressure inside of which speedily rises to nearly 
30 atmospheres, but gradually declines to about a 
quarter of that degree of tension when the whole is 
allowed to cool gradually. Th£ crude product so 
obtained is purified by distillation once or twice 
repeated, until an oily fluid is the result, which 
comes over between 220° and 260°; this, when ren- 
dered slightlj- alkaline, is the " musk" in question, 
and it may be diluted with alcohol, for the use of the 
perfumer, to any degree of odoriferous strength. 

Thermometer Scales.— Three scales have sur- 
vived. The Fahrenheit is the oldest, and dates 
from 1724. It is used popularly in Great Britain, 
the British colonies, and the United States. This 
scale was primarily divided into iSo°; zero was 
placed at temperate, a point corresponding with 
if C. ; the point to which the alcohol rose when 
placed under the arm of a healthy man was marked 
90°; and the temperature of a mixture of ice and 
salt, then believed to be the greatest possible cold, 
was marked — 90°. In 1714 Fahrenheit again altered 
his scale ; 0° was placed at the absolute zero, and 
the space between this point and that representing 
the warmth of the human body was divided into 
twenty-four degrees. The freezing point of water 
was now 8°. But these long degrees being incon- 
venient, each was divided into four, and thus in- 
stead of 8°, the freezing point of water became J2^' 
and the blood heat 96°. A mercurial thermometer 
thus graduated registered 212- as the boiling point 
of water. 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 



Practical Cljcnjistry aijd tlje ^rts. 


The accompanying engraving (from I^a 
Nature) represents a view of the proposed 
bridge across the English Channel, as it will 
appear after completion. This project is cer- 
tainly a bold and magnificent conception, 
and, if ever carried out, the bridge will be 
the greatest feat of engineering ever accom- 
plished. The preliminary plans have been 
made for the work, but, before it becomes an 
accomplished fact, many obstacles — not only 
natural ones, but financial and political — 
must be overcome. 

The proposed bridge will start from near 
Folkestone, in England, and cross to a point 
near the port of Ambleteuse, on the French 
coast. The total length will be about twenty- 
iour miles, but it will deviate from a direct 
line, in order to cross two banks, or shoals, 
in the middle of the channel, and obtain the 
advantage of the 
shallow water (20 
to 30 feet) above 
them. In the deep- 
est part of the chan- 
nel the piers must 
be sunk in 165 feet 
of water — a feat 
which will require 
some skillful en- 

The piers, of 
which there will 
be about 125, will 
be of solid masonrj-, 
and will be built 
near the shore in 
caissons, and then 
floated out into the 
channel and sunk 
in their proper 
places. They will project 60 feet above 
low water, and on them will rest the 
steel cylindrical columns, 120 feet in height,^ 
which support the superstructure of the I 
bridge, making a clear height of 180 feet 
above the water, and allowing ample room 
for vessels with the highest masts to pass 
freely beneath. The construction and placing 
of each pier is estimated to take about a year, 
although, of course, an indefinite number can. 
be constructed at the same time. i 

The length of the spans will vary, but the 
widest will consist alternately of 900 and | 
1,500 feet, each span of the bridge (as shown I 
in the engraving) resting upon two piers. 
The narrowest span will be 300 feet. Over 1 
a million tons of metal will be used in the 
work, and the cost is estimated at from 175 
to 200 millions of dollars. About ten years 
will be required to complete it, and, if the , 
success is assured, it would seem to be an j 
easy matter to raise the necessary funds. I 

The commercial and political importance 
of this bridge, which would give Great 
Britain direct and unbroken railroad commu- 
nication with all parts of the eastern hemis- 
phere, can hardly be overestimated, and it 
would also tend to bind the European nations 
more closely together and prevent war. Mr. 
Gladstone is reported to have said that "by 
either the tunnel or the bridge the peace of 
the world is assured," and, although this may 
be rather a sanguine view to take of the mat- 
ter, there can be no doubt that the result of 
such direct means of communication would 
be an unqualified blessing to all concerned, 
and it is to be hoped that the ridiculous fears 
of foreign invasion which led the British 
government to suppress the already com- 
menced tunnel underneath the channel, will 
not be the cause of the abandonment of the 
proposed bridge above its tempestuous waters. 

stopping, starting, or reversing the motion, 
and safety catches, to prevent its fall in case of 
the breaking of the chain, can be readily 
attached to it. No attendant is required, as 
its operation is so simple that anyone can 
make use of it without danger, and means 
can easily be arranged by which it can be 
brought back to the foot of the staircase by a 
person standing below, if it has been left at 
the top by the last passenger. 

This invention is nuich less costly than a 
regular elevator, and seems to be especially 
applicable to private houses, stores, small 
hotels, and similar buildings. It will doubt- 
less come into quite extensive use. 


The ingenious device for ascending stair- 

cases shown in the illustration (on page 6) 
was exhibited at the Paris Exposition last 
summer by M. Amiot, under the name of 
monte-escalier. It is intended as a substitute 
for the more expensive elevator in private 
houses, and buildings where the travel from 
one story to another is small, besides being 
adapted to narrow and crooked locations, 
where the regular type of elevator could not 
be introduced, for want of sufficient space. 

The engraving leaves little to be explained 
in regard to its construction and working. 
The whole installation may be divided into 
three parts : the rails, which are attached 
firmly to the side of the staircase, which may 
be either straight or curved ; the car, which 
is a platform resting on the rails by wheels ; 
and the motor, which may be either hydraulic, 
electric, or of any other type, according to 
circumstances, and which draws the car from 
one story to the other by means of a chain. 
The car is provided with a simple means •f 

Mr. Robert Benecke, of St. Louis, gives instruc- 
tions in Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, to select 
glass free from scratclies and bubbles, put it in a 
solution of washing soda for a time, wash, and f.»t 
it up to dry. Now take one ounce of fine gelatin., 
such as is used for making dry plates, put it in clean 
water; wash it a couple of times, squeeze out the 

water and place it on 
a clean towel. After 
about one hour, dis- 
solve the gelatine in 
twenty ounces of hot 
water, and filter it 
through cotton, flan- 
nel, silk, or buckskin 
pushed into the neck 
of a funnel. Coat the 
plates with the gela- 
tine solution wanned 
from 120° to 140° 
Fahr. In cold weather 
it will be necessarv to 
warm the plates. When 
the solution is spread 
evenly over the glass, 
lay it on a cold marble 
slab placed horizon- 
tally, and as soon as 
the coating has be- 
come stiflf enough not 
to run, set the plates 
up on nails to dry. This will take from eight to 
twelve hours or more. Any number of plates can 
be thus prepared, and may be kept for any length of 
time in a place free from dust. Next mix the sensi- 
tizing solution. Dissolve citrate of iron and ammo- 
nia, 71/2 drachms in 4 ounces of water, also ferricya- 
nide of potassium, 5 drachms in 4 ounces of water. 
Mix and filter into a dish, and immerse the plates 
about five minutes, avoiding air bubbles. This is 
better done in the evening by lamp-light. Next 
morning they will be dry, and ready to be placed 
under the negative and exposed. The time for 
printing required is about double that for albumen- 
ized paper. The last thing to be done is the wash- 
ing, which removes the salts and develops a rich 
blue print. The solution must be freshly made, as 
it will not keep very long after being used. The 
plates will keep in the dark for some time. 

There was at the Paris Exhibition a coal-digger 
which is worked by an electro-motor. By its aid a 
man and helper can uncfercut one hundred and ten 
tons of coal in ten hours, in a seam six feet 
thick, and the power required for this at the 
pit-head it a little over two and one-quarter horse- 





[Original in The Popular Science iVr!«s.] 




The father of the science of acoustics was the 
famous philosopher Pythagoras, who was born at 
Samos, at the end of the seventh century B. C. We 
are often told that he was led to the discovery of the 
arithmetrical relations of the musical scale by ob- 
serving accidentally the various sounds which were 
produced by hammers of different weights striking 
upon an anvil. Longfellow refers to this old story 
in his poem "To a Child": 

As great Pythagoras of yore, 
Standing beside the blacksmith's door, 
And hearing the hammers, as they smote 
The anvils with a different note. 
Stole from the varying tones that hung 
Vibrant on every iron tongue. 
The secret of the sounding wire. 
And formed the seven-chored lyre. 
But, unfortunately for the truth of the story, dif- 
ferent hammers do not produce different sounds 
from the same anvil. It seems certain, however, 
that Pythagoras invented the monochord, which is 

A NOVEL ELEVATOR. (See page 5.) 

thus the first known apparatus for the experimental 
investigation of natural laws. By means of this, he 
discovered that all intervals of sound which make a 
pleasant and harmonious impression on our ears, 
correspond to the simplest numerical relations ; 
that, for example, if a string of the length » gave 
the keynote, V2' and /i* gave the octave and the 
third. Euclides, or Euclid, the famous geometer, 
collected the results reached by Pythagoras and his 
school, giving us an aritmetical- demonstration of 
the way of dividing the scale ; while, among the 
Romans, Vitruvius and Bcethius wrote on the same 
subject, but without making any original contribu- 
tions to it. 

The first to undertake to explain the phenomena 
of sound was Aristotle. He discovered that the air 
was the medium by which all sounds were trans- 
mitted, and observed that the velocity with which 
they travelled, differed on difterent days and at dif- 
ferent seasons of the year. Vitruvius applied 

acoustic principles to the construction of theaters. 
He explains clearly that sound travels in waves 
of air, spreading in all directions from the sonorous 

Of the laws of heat, the ancients knew practically 
nothing, having a merely empirical knowledge of 
the ordinary processes of melting, freezing, boiling, 
and the like. They developed heat by burning, by 
friction, and by the concentration of the sun's rays. 
They knew that steam and air were expanded by 
heat. Aristotle, who investigated the subject, was 
prevented from accomplishing anything by assum- 
ing at the outset that heat and cold were radically 
independent things, instead of differing merely in 
degree. He seems, however, to have recognized a 
definite melting-point for various metals, and he 
explains the ready melting of "Celtic tin" by the 
weak cohesion of its molecules. He also appears to 
have had some idea of latent heat. Among the 
Romans, we find the use of a principle of heat by a 
man who, least of all, would have claimed the glory 
of being a savant — the grim old censor, Marcus 
Porcius Cato. In describing the preparation of a 
certain dish, he says that the ingredients are put 
into an earthen vessel ; this in turn is put into a pot 
full of water, which is set over the fire. Here we 
have a suggestion of the method afterwards em- 
ployed by the Arabs, and familiar in our day, for 
maintaining a given temperature in water-baths. 

In optics, far greater advances were made than in 
the two departments of physics already reviewed. 
At first, the idea of the process of sight was a wholly 
inverted one, for it was supposed that the course of 
light was from the eye to the object seen, long 
feelers going out from the organ of vision, which 
formed a conception of the object viewed by actual 
contact with its surface. Epicurus and Hipparchus 
assumed the existence of visual rays proceeding 
from the eye ; and the ancient geometers described 
spheres which resulted from the union of the beams 
from the two e3"es, those from the right eye turning 
to the left, and vice versa. They maintained that 
while the eye could take in a great many objects, a 
distinct impression was received only where the 
rays met. 

The first to write on the subject was Euclid, a 
believer in the "feeler" theory. While he made 
many errors, he showed that the angle of incidence 
is equal to the angle of reflection, and in one of his 
theorems gives the germ of the idea of linear per- 
spective. The next in order in the development of 
the subject is Cleomedes, whose work is largely a 
compilation of that of Poseidonius, a contemporary 
of Cicero. He is the first to show a knowledge of 
the principle of refraction, which he illustrates by 
the familiar experiment with the coin in water; and 
he explains the phenomenon of twilight on that 

Ptolemains, or Ptolemy, the well-known mathe- 
matician and astronomer, wrote on the theory of 
light, and defined the angles of incidence and re- 
flection for various refracting media. While it was 
left for Descartes to discover the laws of refraction, 
Ptolemains laid the foundation for later investiga- 
tions. A work on mirrors, which was formerly 
attributed to Ptolemains, is now believed to be the 
work of the versatile Heron, who did such good 
service in the field of mechanics. He gives a de- 
scription of a heliostat, by which a ray of sunlight 
was introduced into a darkened room and kept in a 
given position ; of a mirror which distorted the 
image reflected, and of an apparatus for producing 
ghostly apparitions on the stage, similar to those 
now employed for that purpose. 

The ancients were acquainted with various opti- 
cal instruments. Mirrors were known at a very 
early period. They were made of various metals, 

and of polished stone. Nero had a mirror of emer- 
ald, and Pliny tells us that mirrors were made of 
rubies, though this stone is never found now suffi- 
ciently large for the purpose. The mirrors made at 
Brundisium, from a mixture of tin and copper, were 
celebrated. The white metal thus produced readily 
becomes dim, and a sponge with powdered pumice- 
stone was generally fastened to them for renewing 
the polish. The use of silver mirrors was very 
common at Rome. Glass mirrors are spoken of by 
Pliny and others. 

Burning-glasses were known at Athens as early 
as the time of the Peloponnesian war, for Aristo- 
phanes makes one of his characters use one to 
obliterate a charge against him which was recorded 
on a wax tablet. The burning-glasses of Archime- 
des have already been referred to. This instrument 
was also used by the vestal virgins to rekindle the 
sacred fire, if, by any unhappy chance, it was ex- 

Magnifying-glasses were known to the Romans, 
and the short-sighted emperor Nero is said to have 
used one at the theater. This instrument was sim- 
ilar to our modern spectacles or eye-glasses, rather 
than to opera-glasses. The vexed question whether 
anything corresponding to the opera-glass or the 
telescope was known to the ancients, seems to have 
been answered in tlie negative, although they may 
have used an empty tube to aid their sight in cer- 
tain cases. 

The question whether the sense of color of 
the ancients was less developed than our own, has 
been much discussed, and the attempt has been 
made to prove that Homer was partially color- 
blind. Aristotle distinguished only three — or at 
most four — colors in the rainbow, though he could 
probably have passed a modern examination for 

The subjects of magnetism and electricity must be 
left for another paper. 

[Note. — The December number, containing the first article 
of this series, will be sent free to anv 7iew subscrilier requesting 


Andressen, of Berlin, has discovered a new sub- 
stance to which he has given the name of eikonogen 
or ikonogen, and which is manufactured in Ger- 
many. This is a substance derived from anilin, like 
hydroquinon, of a greenish gray color, sensitive to 
light, and non-crystallizable. According to M. 
L'llote, it is distinguishable from hydroquinon by 
means of fuming nitric acid, whichacts slowly upon 
the latter body, blackening the crystals and forming 
an oxide, yellow and slightly soluble; while it acts 
very energetically upon eikonogen, forming a yel- 
low colored matter which turns red with water. 

Eikonogen can replace hydroquinon for the devel- 
opment of photographic images. The following 
formulas may be used : 


Sulphite of soda 100 grammes 

Distilled water 1500 grammes 

Eikonogen 25 grammes 


Distilled water ^ao grammes 

Carbonate of soda 74 grammes 

Three parts of the first solution is taken with one 
part of the second. 

To hurry the development, add a few drops of the 
following accelerator : 

Carbonate of potash 10 grammes 

Distilled water , . . 100 grammes 

To restrain the development, add a few drops of 
the following retardator: 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 


Brtmiide of potash lO grammes 

Distilled water lOO gramnies 

Fixing is done in tiie usual manner. Tiie batli of 
eikonogen is not colored by contact with the air, 
which permits its employment for the development 
of many plates in succession. 

It does not stain the fingers or the nails, it gives 
clear negatives, and development is easy and rapid. 
N. E. Druggist. 

[Note. — In our experience with eikonogen, we 
find it to give great detail, but not very much inten- 
sity. It also appears to have a tendency to cause 
blisters in the gelatine coating. It is especially 
adapted for developing bromide prints, and no 
clearing solution is necessary. — Ed.] 



A New Alloy has been discovered by llerr 
Reith, of Bockenheini, Germany, which is said to 
practically resist tlie attack of inost acid and alkaline 
solutions. Its composition is as follows : Copper, 
15 parts; tin, 2.34 parts; lead, 1.82 parts; anti- 
mony, I part. This alloy is, therefore, a bronze 
with the addition of lead and antimony. The 
inventor claims that it can be very advantageously 
used in the laboratory to replace vessels or fittings 
of ebonite, vulcanite, or porcelain. 

The safety of mining has been materially in- 
creased in recent years. The average ratio for the 
ten years ending 1S60 was one death in every 245 
persons employed, for the ten years ending 1S70 it 
was one in 300, for the period ending 1880 one in 
425, and for the present year one in 602. Even this 
more favorable ratio will, no doubt, be improved 
upon, and mining may become as safe as any other 
occupation. Seeing that an army of nearly 600,000 
persons are employed in or about the mines of 
Great Britain and Ireland, and that in round num- 
bers 183,000,000 tons of minerals were wrought last 
year, the importance of the industry can hardly be 

The Transportation of Acids. — There has 
been patented in Germany a process by means of 
which sulphuric acid for manufacturing purposes 
can be safely transported. The inventor takes 
advantage of a property of certain salts, — of which 
alkaline sulphates are representatives, — by which 
they give up their water of crystallization when 
heated, and take it up again when cool ; and he does 
so by mixing the salts in an anhydrous condition 
with a calculated quantity of sulphuric acid. The 
whole mass becomes granular, or may be formed 
into cakes, and, when heated, the whole liquefies, 
»nd may be used as if it were sulphuric acid, for the 
presence of bisulphate of soda does no harm. 

Malleable Bro.nze. — A patent has been taken 
out, both in England and France, by Mr. A. Sentex, 
Mr. C. Marechal, and Mr. A. Saunier, establishing 
a process for producing malleable and ductile bronze 
bars or plates, which are free from cracks and blow- 
holes, are "inoxidisable," and which may be "rolled 
and drawn with the greatest ease." Moreover, the 
metal has the appearance and "sonorosity of gold." 
One and a half kilos, of tin are purified by melting 
under nitre. Ten kilos, of copper are melted, and 
50 grammes of equal parts of nitrate and cyanide of 
potassium are added, for the double purpose of 
reducing the oxides and "fattening" the metal. 
Then 25 grammes of bitartrate of potassium, with 
the same quantity of cyanide, are added, and, after 
poling, the tin is introduced; 25 grammes each of 
sal-atpmoniac and cyanide are thrown on, i gramme ' 
of "phosphuret of copper" introduced to "impart ' 
mildness," and 20 grammes of "Marseilles soap" | 
added, which still further "fattens" the metal. 
Finally, i gramme of sodium is added at the mo- , 
ment of casting. i 

Ttje Ont-Door morld. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
[P. O. Address, Pittsfield, Mass.] 

Every member of the Agassiz Association 
will appreciate and reciprocate the cordial 
greeting given by the editor of the Popular 
Science News. Let us increase our devo- 
tion to the study of the Out-Door World 
during the year now opening, and strive in 
every way to render our society more and 
more worthy of the commendation so kindly 
be.stowed upon it. 

T/ie Swiss Cross, which for more than 
two years has been the "official organ" of 
the Agassiz Association, is now combined 
with Santa Claus, the new and beautiful 
young folks' weekly magazine published in 
Philadelphia, and will continue its pleasant 
work of interesting the children in the study 
of Nature. In "The Out-Door World" we 
shall speak to those who are older, and who 
are approaching a maturity of thought and 
endeavor that will not rest short of thorough 
scientific attainment. The publishers of these 
two journals are in the heartiest accord, and 
will aid and supplement one another in giving 
our Association the completest possible rep- 
resentation. By a friendly clubbing agree- 
ment, both the Popular Science News 
(whose regular subscription price is $1.00) 
and Santa Clans ($3.00) will be sent to 
any for $3.25. To this most gener- 
ous oHer we expect an equally generous 
response from ever3one interested in our 

In addressing for the first time the new 
audience to which we have thus kindly been 
introduced by the editor of this journal, a few 
words may be needed regarding the purpose 
and scope of our Association. Its aim is to 
awaken among the people an interest in the 
personal observation of their immediate nat- 
ural surroundings. As we have often ex- 
pressed it, we wish to lead as many as 
possible along the footsteps of Gilbert White. 
To this end we constantly invite persons of 
all ages and conditions to form local clubs 
and unite with us. On their part, they are 
to explore, as best they may, the country 
within, sa\', a ten-mile radius of their respec- 
tive homes ; make collections, if they choose, 
of their representative animals, plants, and 
minerals ; study the geological structure of 
the rocks above which they live ; found local 
scientific libraries ; provide courses of lectures ; 
and, in a word, establish, if possible, perma- 
nent scientific societies in their several towns. 
On our part, we undertake to help any who 
need assistance, by directing them to the 
simplest methods of organization, and the 
most approved ways of working in the acvcral 

departments ; by suggesting books appropri- 
ate to their varying necessities ; by putting 
them in communication with men of high 
standing, who are able and willing to give 
them sound answers to the questions that may 
perplex their inexperience ; and by providing 
for them a regular means of intercommunica- 
tion, so that they may not only maintain 
private correspondence and exchange their 
specimens, but ma}' also have a place in 
which there may be made a permanent record 
of whatever may be di.scovered of general and 
abiding interest. 

To this end we earnestly invite the co- 
operation of every scientific man and woman 
who reads this paper. Give us your sym- 
pathy, your counsel, your assistance. You 
will hardly be able to render the nation a 
better service than by helping to enlist our 
young men and young women in the consci- 
entious study of Nature and science. We 
plead for no sentimental smattering. Our 
young men mean business. Many of them 
have devoted their lives to science. Some 
have already attained eminence who began as 
boy-members of a village Chapter of the 
Agassiz Association. Help them now, and 
you will be unconsciously sowing seed that, 
after many days, shall produce a harvest 
worthy of your own gathering. You will 
some day wish to give a scientific lecture ; 
our Association is preparing you an audience. 
You may embody the results of your life- 
work in a book ; our Association is training 
those who will buy and read it. 

Another leading aim of the Agassiz 
Association is to increase the quantity, and 
particularly to improve the quality, of science- 
teaching in our public schcwls. Much has 
already been accomplished in this direction. 
We have awakened a desire for right and 
adequate instruction in nearly twenty thousand 
youthful minds, and have given them a suffi- 
cient understanding of what right instruction 
is, to make them absolutely intolerant of 
obsolete methods of rote-work and book- 
cramming. You couldn't hire a member of 
the Agassiz As.sociation to study botany with- 
out plants, mineralogy without minerals, or 
chemistry without chemicals. In this mat- 
ter we have constantly been in the closest 
sympathy of belief and endeavor with the 
"Committee on the Subject of Science in the 
Schools" appointed a year ago by the Amer- 
ican Society of Naturalists. We cannot 
better sum up our desires than by quoting 
the words of this committee ; for the Agassiz 
Association also asks for " the active support 
and encouragement of every parent and 
teacher who believes that the young should 
have their natural tendencies and longings for 
a knowledge of the things of Nature culti- 
vated ; their questions about it, which are in 
•v«ry w«y pure «n<l true, answered ; oppor- 


POPULAR soii:hoe news. 

[Jaxuary, 1890. 

tunities for enjoyment and for friendships that 
will never fail laid open to them ; and, above 
all, the opportunity freely afforded them for 
securing the brain-growth and mental power 
by observation and independent thought 
which these studies are so peculiarly well 
fitted to give." 

The smallest number that can be admitted 
as a Chapter of the A. A. is four. These 
may be all of one family, or of several ; they 
may be of any age, and their entrance is 
entirely free, the only necessary expense 
being the purchase of the Association hand- 
book. Three Kingdoms, and a subscription 
to one of the papers that contain our reports. 
For convenience in reporting, the Chapters 
are arranged in groups of one hundred, called 
Centuries, of which there are now ten, though 
none of them are full. Chapters belonging 
to the first Century (Nos. i-ioo) are expected 
to send their annual reports to the President 
by the first of January, and reports from this 
division are now due. The other Centuries 
will follow the months in regular order until 
August. August and September are omitted, 
as vacation months, and then the eighth 
Century begins again in October. We shall 
now present a few extracts from the large 
number of these reports which have been 
received dining the past few months. 

505, Greene, N. Y. , [A]. — We have added to our 
herbarium, by collecting and by exchange. Our 
cabinet of minerals is also enlarged, and we have a 
large number of slides prepared for the microscope. 
Correspondence with the Gray Memorial Chapter 
has proved very interesting and profitable. — L. P. 
J., Sec. 

One or two things in this pleasant letter may need 
a word of explanation for the general reader. The 
number (505) shows that this Chapter is the fifth 
Chapter in the sixth Century. The letter A after 
the address signifies that it is the first Chapter in 
Greene, N. Y. The Gray Memorial Chapter is one 
of a class of societies formed, not bj the union of 
several residents of the same town, but by the asso- 
ciation into a "Corresponding Chapter" of widely 
separated individuals, all interested in the study of 
botany. It is named in honor of Professor Asa 
Gray, and has a large and earnest membership. 
The President is George H. Hicks, Owosso, Mich. 

513, Buffalo, N. Y., [D]. — We have lectures every 
week, and every two weeks an essay and discussion. 
We have had a series of excursions for the collection 
of wild flowers, and are preparing an herbarium. — • 
Lilian M. Hoffer, Sec. 

517, Appleton, Wis., [A]. — We are studying leaf 
forms and caterpillar changes. A charming book, 
which we have lately obtained, Instd Lives; or 
Born in Prison, has been a well of delight. With 
great gratitude for the privileges you have enabled 
us to enjoy, we are all very sincerely your co- 
workers. — M. Rogers Winslow, Sec. 

If anyone deems it immodest in the editor to feel 
proud that the book referred to by Mrs. Winslow is 
the work of his mother, and to think it the best book 
on the subject yet written for young people, let him 
read Exodus 20: 12. 

520, Piqua, O., [A]. — We have gained a most 
valuable member in J. W. Dowler, a civil engineer. 
Our studies are at present confined to archicology, 
geology, and zoology. In the first department we 
have nearly five thousand specimens, as this is an 
excellent field for Indian relics. — J. A. Rayner, Sec. 

We have a "Corresponding Chapter" in arch- 
seology, like the one in botany already referred to. 
Its membership extends into many States. The 
President is Hilborne T. Cresson, Philadelphia 
Academy of Sciences; Vice-President, Dr. C. C. 
Abbott, Trenton, N. J.; Secretary, A. II. Leitch, 
41 Mound Street, Dayton, O. 

521, New York, N. Y., [O].— We have held thir- 
teen meetings since September, five of which were 
devoted to answering the questions sent by Mr. 
Wyht, whose course in botany we are still pursuing. 
Miss Ilirsch has taken Professor Guttenberg's course 
in mineralogy. We spent one field-day at Spuyten 
Duyvil, May 2, and found, among other flowers, 
Panax trifotium, Arahis lyrata, Nepeta glechoma, 
and Erylhronium Americanwiu. One member found 
an alder-tree in bloom January 4 ; and some arbutus 
was found at Cornwall, January 29. — Alice M. 
Isaacs, Pres. ; Daisy L. Stein, Sec. 

530, Boston, Mass., [E]. — We have begun to 
study geology, and have made three collecting 
trips.— John J. Fay, Sec, 41 Allen Street. 

535, Ilallowell, Me., [A]. — Death has visited our 
little Chapter, removing one of our members. The 
remaining three are earnestly and steadily at work, 
adding much to their knowledge, and enlarging 
their collections of minerals, fossils, woods, etc. — 
M. Lillian Hopkins, Sec. 

540, Oskaloosa, lo., [A]. — Our Chapter is in a 
most flourishing condition. Within the last eight 
months the membership has increased from twenty- 
three to fifty. We have rooms in the High School 
building, where we have our museum. The School 
Board has also given into our hands the arrange- 
ment and care of their numerous scientific speci- 
mens. Our work is in chemistry, geology, zoology, 
astronomy, and botany; we also have numerous 
field-meetings. — Mary B. Green, Pres. 

48, Fitchburg, Mass., [A]. — Hereafter, please 
address all correspondence intended for this Chap- 
ter to "Agassiz Association, No. 48, P. O. Box 
1685, Fitchburg, Mass." This will insure its imme- 
diate delivery. There are frequent changes in the 
office of corresponding secretary, but the foregoing 
address will be permanent. — Ira C. Greene, Pres. 


[Continued from The Swiss CVos«, \'ol. 5, No. 6, p. 184.] 

255. A Late-Blooming Pear. (See Note 245.) 
— A pear tree in our garden lost all its leaves after 
an August storm. In the warmth of September, 
after long-continued showers, it put forth a crop of 
young leaves, blossomed, and continued in flower 
for three weeks. — C. C. Cruger, Barrytown, N. Y. 

256. A Mastodon's Skeleton. — I have found 
what I take to be a tooth and part of a tusk of a 
mastodon. The tooth is y'/i inches in length 
and 3^/4 in the diameter of its cross-section. It 
has five transverse ridges, about an inch high, 
except the last, which is smaller. Each ridge is 
cut in two by a longitudinal groove, or furrow, 
which, however, is not nearly so deep as the trans- 
verse grooves. The piece of tusk is 16 inches long, 
5 inches in its longer and 2 in its shorter diameter. 

The outside is dark colored, and has a perfect polish. 
The inside is soft, and can be scratched with the 
nail. Some persons here took it for petrified wood, 
because three concentric layers appeared on the 
end ; but I think it is ivory, because the broken end 
shows small lozenge-shaped markings, formed by 
the intersectingof circular arcs. A fragment heated 
in the flame of an alcohol lamp gave a distinct odor 
like that of a burning hoof Judging from the 
curvature of this piece, the tusk must originally 
have been about 8 inches in diameter. — George W. 
Boot, Ute, Iowa. 

257. One of the Tipulid.e. — I mail you a 
small bottle containing two larvje, which I found 
in the water of a vessel in which was an aquatic 
plant. Kindly let me know their names, origin, 
and future. I am not a member of the A. A., but 
take great pleasure in reading the reports and 
observations published in your magazine. The 
bodj' is transparent olive green, rudimentary wings 
darker. — ^J. T. B., Greensburg, Penn. 

[This is apparently a dipterous larva of the family 
Tipulida, and belongs to that section of the family 
which have short palpi, among which are I'icrano- 
mia, LimnoMa, etc. See Ostendacken's Smithso- 
nian publications. — Ed.] 

A cordial invitation is hereby extended to all 
our readers to join the Agassiz Association, either 
by organizing local societies, or as individual mem- 
bers. Circulars giving full directions, and contain- 
ing a fine wood-engraving of Professor Agassiz, 
will be sent on application. Address all communi- 
cations for this department to Harlan II. Ballard, 
President of the Agassiz Association, Pittsfield, 

Reports from the second Century (Chapters loi- 
200) should reach the President by February i. 


A Canvas-back Duck flies at an h.abitual rate of 
80 miles per hour, which is increased in emergency 
to 120. The mallard has a flight of 48 miles an 
hour; the black duck, pin-tail, widgeon, and wood 
duck cannpt do much better. The blue-wing and 
green-wing teals can do 100 miles an hour, and take 
it easy. The red-head can fly all day at 90 miles 
per hour. The gadwall can do 90 miles. The flight 
of the wild goose is 100 miles per hour. 

An Entertaining Yarn. — An enterprising 
Kentucky paper prints the following: "In Wood- 
ford County Mr. John D. Burns raised a large drove 
of turkeys this year, and by placing a bell upon the 
old mother that led them he accustomed them to 
follow the sound. When the time came to work 
his tobacco fields he removed the bell, placing it on 
his own waist, and while working his crop with the 
hoe, the hungry turkeys followed the familiar tinkle 
ot the bell, picking the stalks clean of the worms as 
as they followed him up one row and down the 
other. The turkeys have done the work of five 
men and saved the crop." 

Alu.m in Bread. — Alum owes its power of 
blanching the paste of bread not to the alumina 
which it contains, or to the combination of this 
earth with the gluten, but to the sulphuric acid 
liberated by the formation of aluminum albuminate. 
According to Nothnagel and Rossbach, the pro- 
longed daily use of alum in proportion of 0.0^ too.i 
grm. occasions gastric disturbances not unimpor- 
tant. The author finds that the artificial gastric 
digestion of alumed bread eflects the solution of all 
the alum present. Hence it is possible that a quan- 
tity of alumina equivalent to 0.20 grm. of alum may 
enter the circulation daily. 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 



Slje Popular Science I^ews. 



WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt.D., . Atsodate Editor. 

The Popular Science News has watched 
with great interest the development of that 
achtiirable society of youth known as the 
Agassiz Association. Founded in iSy^ by 
Hahlan H. Ballard, it has grown, under his 
devoted care, to national proportions, and 
has successfully accomplished one of Louis 
Agassi/.'s favorite dreams, — the general estab- 
lishment of local clubs devoted to the personal 
study of their close environment. During 
the past fourteen years, no less than fifteen 
hundred such clubs have been organized, 
and hundreds of them have remained active, 
and are growing in strenth and vigor. Even 
those which have been most transient have 
wrought a good work in engaging the atten- 
tion of their members, and attaching their 
interest to objects of essential usefulness. 

It gives us pleasure to announce that we have 
secured the services of Mr. Ballard to conduct 
in the Popular Science News a depart- 
ment, whicli is to be called "The Out-Door 
World." In it will be presented, from 
month to month, short articles of a popularly 
scientific nature, largely embodying the 
results of the personal observations of the 
members of the Agassiz Association and its 
friends, among whom are many of the leading 
scientists of America. There will also be 
a few selected extracts from the reports of 
the local clubs, — particularly those which 
constitute the maturer portion of the society, 
— and there will be frequent hints and sug- 
gestions designed to assist teachers of natural 
science in our public schools. We are glad 
to know that our journal has always been 
popular with the members of the Agassiz 
Association ; and, while the new department 
must greatly increase their interest in us, we 
feel sure that, on the other hand, the reports 
of the work of this arm}- of students, from 
whose ranks are to come our future teachers 
and men of science, will be read with 
approving and sympathetic interest by all. 
The space formerly occupied by the depart- 
ment of "Home, Farm, and Garden" will 
be devoted to the interests of the Association, 
and the articles formerly appearing under 
that heading will be transferred to other 
pages of the paper. 

air and hermetically sealed. When one of these 
tubes was spectroscopically examined in 1S80, 
no less than 148 lines of the iodine spectrum 
were visible, and only three very faint hydro- 
gen lines. In the present year, when Mr. 
Smyth again examined the spectrum given 
by the same tube, not a single iodine line was 
left, but hydrogen lines were present in great 
abundance. The granules of iodine sealed 
into the tube in 1878 had also entirel}- dis- 
appeared. There was no possibility of an 
accidental crack or leak in the tube to account 
for this apparent transmutation of an element, 
which was certainly a most remarkable piie- 
nomenon, and, as Mr. Smyth observes, leads 
us to speculate whether this change is not an 
infinitesimally small part of the progress of 
everything to turn into hydrogen, and for 
assisting thereby the whole solar system to 
explode some day into a so-called hydrogen 

turies which still bears the name of New 
England, in honor of the native land of the 
adventurous navigators who for the second 
time brought it to the knowledge of the old 

Professor S. P. Langlev has been mak- 
ing some investigations upon the temperature 
of the moon's surface, — a work requiring the 
utmost care and skill, and the use of instru- 
ments of the greatest delicacy. Contrary to 
the usually received opinion, that the sur- 
face of the moon exposed to the rays of the 
sun through the long lunar day becomes 
heated to a very high temperacure. Professor 
Langley comes to the conclusion that the 
mean temperature of the sunlit lunar soil is 
much lower than has been supposed, and is 
most probably not greatly above 32° Fahr. 

A genuine case of hydrophobia recently 
occurred in Haverhill, Mass. The patient — 
a strong, healthy man — was bitten by a dog 
about six weeks previous to the attack. The 
characteristic symptoms of spasm of the 
throat and periodic general convulsions, 
were so well developed as to leave no doubt 
as to the nature of the disease. Death 
occurred very suddenly, after several days of 
! severe suffering. The keeping of dogs is a 
custom handed down to us direct from our 
savage ancestors, and is a practice unworthy 
of civilized beings. But as long as mankind 
insists upon the companionship of these use- 
less and dangerous beasts, the risk of such 
lamentable accidents as the above will be 
always present, and fatalities from the dread- 
ful disease will continue to be reported. 

A CURIOUS observation was recently made 
by Mr. C. Piazzi Smyth, while examining 
the spectrum of the light emitted by some 
vacuum tubes through which a current of 
electricity was passed. Eleven years ago a 
quantity of iodine was placed in the tubes in 
question, which were then nearly exhausted of 

Great interest was excited last November 
among archaeologists, by the announcement 
by Professor IIorsforu, formerly of Harvard 
College, of his discovery of the site of the 
ancient and traditional city of Norumbega, 
which he claims was founded by the North- 
men, about 1000 A. D., or nearly five 
hundred years before the voyage of Colum- 
bus. The site claimed for the ancient city is 
near Watertown, Mass., a few miles west of 
Boston, in the valley of the Charles River. 
Professor Horsford claims that there are mon- 
imients of the presence of the Northmen on 
every square mile of the basin of the Charles. 
As evidences of this, he points to a canal, 
walled on one side for a thousand feet along 
the west side of Stony Brook, and to the dry 
canal near Newtonville. He has also found 
remains of canals, ditches, deltas, boom 
dams, ponds, fish-traps, dwellings, walls, 
and amphitheaters scattered all throughout 
the basin of the Charles. The evidence tend- 
ing to prove the discovery and occupation of 
the region around Massachusetts Bay long 
before the date usually assigned to the dis- 
covery of this continent, is constantly grow- 
ing stronger, and there seems to be little 
reason to doubt that the " Vinland" so well 
known to the old Norse adventurers, was a 
part of the country re-discovered in later cen- 

In a paper read before the Danish Acad- 
emy, M. Paulsen gave the results of numer- 
ous determinations of the height of the 
aurora. These results were very variable, 
some auroras being observed as low as 1,000 
feet, while others were apparently at a height 
of 43 miles, and one aurora was estimated to 
be over 500 miles above the earth. These 
observations, therefore, lead to the conclusion 
that auroras are by no means confined to the 
highest parts of our atmosphere, but that 
they occur almost indifferently at all altitudes. 
M. Paulsen inclines to believe that in the 
temperate zone, auroras only appear in the 
higher layers of the atmosphere ; whereas, in 
the auroral zone, properly speaking, the phe- 
nomenon is generally produced in the lower 

Mr. H. W. WiLEv has been making some 
investigations upon the boiling-point of the 
solutions of certain salts, and finds that it is 
closely related to their molecular weights, so 
that it is quite possible to obtain the approxi- 
mate molecular weight of many chemical 
compounds by careful observations of the 
boiling-point of their solutions. This rela- 
tion, apparently, only exists in the case of a 
limited number of salts, and his observations 
also lead him to believe that substances con- 
taining water of crystallization exist in solu- 
tion in a modified form, and the influence of 
this modification on the boiling-point of the 
solution must be determined by largely ex- 
tended observations. 


A beautiful mineral occurs in various 
localities known as fluorite, or fluor-spar, the 
name being given from its use as a flux in 
metallurgical operations. When pure, it is 



[January, 1S90. 

colorless and transparent, but often occurs 
beautifully colored in various tints. What- 
ever its own color may be, when a ray of 
light is transmitted through it, the crystal 
appears to become partially self-luminous, 
shining with a faint bluish light, very hard 
to accurately describe in words, but easily 
recognized after being once seen. This phe- 
nomenon, which is by no means confined to 
fluor-spar, is known as fluorescence. 

Fluorescence is due to the property pos- 
sessed b}' many bodies of changing and 
increasing the length of certain waves of 
light, so as to render them visible to the eye. 
The solar spectrum, as is well known, is 
formed by the decomposition of white light 
into its component parts, of different colors 
and wave-lengths. Commencing with the 
red rays, which have the longest wave- 
lengths, and passing along to the violet, the 
wave-lengths continually decrease, until they 
fail to produce the sensation of light upon the 
eye, and are transformed into actinic or 
chemical rays. But the ether-waves still 
exist, although invisible, and, in passing 
through any fluorescent substance, they are 
so lengthened as to be transformed into light, 
and cause the peculiar illumination. There 
are also ether-waves at the opposite, or red, 
end of the spectrum, which are too long to 
produce the sensation of light, and appear as 
heat, but there is no fluorescent substance 
which will shorten them into visibility. The 
action of such substances is always in the 
direction of lengthening the waves. 

Sulphate of quinine is a beautifully fluor- 
escent body. If a solution of this salt is 
placed in the sunshine, it will glow with a 
bluish tint, and if a convex lens is placed 
between the solution and the light, the path 
of the converging rays in the solution is very 
plainly shown. This experiment forms a 
most excellent demonstration of the laws 
governing the action of such lenses upon 

Characters may be painted upon a screen 
with a solution of sulphate of quinine, or any 
fluorescent substance, and will be quite invis- 
ible by ordinary light, but if the ultra-violet 
rays of the spectrum are allowed to fall upon 
them, they become visible at once. Owing 
to the great actinic power of these ra\s, a 
photograph of such a screen will show these 
invisible characters upon the finished plate. 
Certain mysterious "spirit photographs" 
have been produced in this way. 

Among other notably fluorescent sub- 
stances are iBsculine, a substance extracted 
from the horse-chestnut ; madder, chloro- 
phyll, common kerosene oil, and quite a 
number of recently discovered hydrocarbon 
compounds. One of these shows the phe- 
nomena so strongly that the name fluorescine 
has been given to it. Some of these sub- 
stances are used in photography in the prepa- 

ration of the so-called ortho-chromatic plates, ; sound scientific principles to popular language 

by which colored objects may be photo- 
graphed in their proper relations of light and 
shade, without the disturbing effect of the 
varying actinic power of the different colors. 
Glass colored yellow by uranium is highly 
fluorescent, and characters traced on paper 
with a solution of stramonium are almost 
invisible in daylight, but appear instanta- 
neously when illuminatfed with the flame 
of burning sulphur. The distance on either 
side of the light spectrum at which these 
invisible ether-waves may be found is im- 
known, but it must be very great. A spec- 
trum has been obtained from the electric 
light six or eight times as long as the ordinary 
visible one, and these waves may exert a 
distinct influence in many ways of which, at 
present, we have no comprehension. Thev 
may even produce sensations in some of the 
lower forms of life of which we can form no 
conception, just as certain persons can hear 
acute sounds to which others are deaf. The 
whole subject of radiant energy — which 
includes light, heat, electricity, actinic force, 
and probably many other forms — is just 
beginning to be comprehended, and no one 
can say to what revelations the future stud}" 
of the subject may lead us. 

[Specially Reported for Tlie Popular Science News.] 


The last meeting of the British Association for 
the Advancement of Science, at Newcastle, has 
left, both upon scientists and their hosts, an im- 
pression of unwonted success. The social arrange- 
ments have been all that could be desired, and the 
excursions admirable in every respect, — that of 
Saturday (to the city of Durham) being made mem- 
orable by the conferring of the honorary degree of 
Doctor of Civil Law upon the officers of the Asso- 
ciation. This imposing ceremony took place in 
the chapter library of the Cathedral, within whose 
lady chapel repose the bones of the venerable Bede, 
England's first historian. The decorated shrine 
that once adorned the spot has long since passed 
awaj", leaving only a marble slab with the inscrip- 
tion : " Ilac sunt in fossa Beda venerabilis ossa." 

Gratifying as it was that one learned body should, 
with all pomp of circumstance, show its appreciation 
of another, it was still more gratifying to the Asso- 
ciation to receive in Newcastle itself — a district 
owing its prosperity to the practical applications of 
science — distinct acknowledgments of the value of 
abstract investigations apart from their immediate 
utility. These were rendered by the Mayor on 
more than one occasion, the most impressive being 
that of Mr. Baker's lecture on the Forth Bridge, 
when the various trades companies of the city pre- 
sented an address to Professor Flower, as president 
of the British Association, recognizing that only as 
the result of long series of complicated researches, 
undertaken solely for the discovery of truth, has this 
triumph of engineering skill been possible. 

Mr. Baker's lecture on the Forth Bridge was one 
of three provided by the Association for what are 
termed the working classes, the object being to 
return some of the courtesies of the city by fostering 

The appreciation of an account of this stupendous 
enterprise by its chief engineer, had been shown 
beforehand by S,ooo applications for tickets, when 
only 3,500 could be allotted ; and the workingmen 
assembled in the hall, repeatedly, and with intense 
enthusiasm, expressed their intelligent interest in 
Mr. Baker's clear explanations and magnificent 
series of lantern illustrations. Scarcely less attrac- 
tive did the " Hardening and Tempering of Steel" 
prove in a district where the use of steel is of such 
great importance; and in developing his subject. 
Professor Roberts-Austin emphasized the absolute 
dependence of industrial progress upon the investi- 
gations of pure science. Pure science, itself, was 
also presented to a large and attentive audience by 
Mr. Walter Gardiner, who, in his practical illustra- 
tions and examples of " How Plants Maintain 
Themselves in the Struggle for Existence," gave a 
memorable lesson in Darwinism, and one much 
needed just now, when scientific terms and phrases 
are entering common speech without carrying with 
them the definite ideas to which in scientific use 
they are attached. 

Truly, Darwinism was in the air at Newcastle, 
forming, under one aspect or another, the great 
discussion of the meeting. In his presidential 
address on the first evening. Professor Flower, after 
making most practical suggestions on the arrange- 
ment and preservation of natural history collections, 
— a subject on which he, as director of the Natural 
History Department of the British Museum, must 
command the attention of all who would present 
their specimens to the best advantage, — brought the 
weight of his vast biological knowledge to the con- 
sideration of recent criticisms of Darwin's great 
hypothesis. Taking for granted that few, if any, 
original workers at any branch of biology now 
entertain serious doubt of the doctrine of evolution, 
and that all recognize an innate tendency in every 
organic being to vary from the standard of its 
predecessors, he discussed the agents by which, 
when it has asserted itself, this tendency is con- 
trolled or directed in such a manner as to produce 
the permanent, or apparently permanent, modifica- 
tions of organic structures which we see around us. 
In opening their respective sections on the following 
day, Professor J. S. Burdon Sanderson directed the 
attention of biological workers to fundamental 
questions in physiology bearing on the elementary 
mechanism of life, the problems of which most 
urgently need solution; while Sir William Turner 
called on his large audience of anthropologists to 
consider the question of a physical basis for heredity 
(the perpetuation of the like), and for variability 
(the production of the unlike), especially in its 
bearing on the transmission from parents to otf- 
spring of characters acquired by the parent. This 
latter topic, which just at present is greatly moving 
the biological world, came up for full discussion on 
Friday, in connection with papers from Mr. Poulton 
on "Acquired Characteristics," from Mr. Francis 
Galton on " Feasible Experiments on the Possibility 
of Transmitting Acquired Habits by Means of In- 
heritance," and from Professor Osborn on the 
pala^ontological evidence in this direction. Again 
was it brought up on Monday, in a large assembly 
of biologists and anthropologists, by Mr. G. J. 
Romanes in a paper on "Specific Characters," 
many men of world-wide reputation taking part in a 
debate presided over by Canon Tristram, the first 
church dignitary and almost the first naturalist to 
accept the then new and unpopular doctrine of 

But Darwinism, though the greatest, was by no 
means the only subject to excite wide interest, even 

an intelligent interest in science through the 

addresses of specialists who know how to reduce ' in the sections of biology and anthropology, in the 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 



former of which Sir John Lubbock, as usual, enter- 
tained large audiences; the latter being crowded to 
hear M. du Chaillu advocate the theory that the 
Vikings are the direct ancestors of the English 
speaking people — a theory that Dr. Evans, Canon 
Isaac Taylor, Professor Boyd Dawkins, and others 
found no evidence to support, though all agreed 
that the time is ripe for a perfectly new investigation 
of the whole question of the origin and migration of 
the races inhabiting Europe and Asia. In this 
section, also, a large crowd assembled to see the 
hero of the meeting, Dr. Nansen, and to hear from 
him a summary of what is known of the Eskimo. 
Dr. Nansen, accompanied by his bride, — herself an 
accomplished athlete and ski runner, who intends 
to take part in her husband's next exploration of 
Greenland, — appeared also in the geographical sec- 
tion, and, with an account of his experiences, 
exhibited pictures taken and curiosities collected in 
the expedition from which he has just returned. 
But it was the geologists — and notably among them 
the glacialists — who followed with keenest interest 
Dr. Nansen's description of the massive covering of 
snow and ice under which the mountains and val- 
leys of southern Greenland have disappeared. To 
them it was as if a man had come back from the 
Pleistocene period to tell them exactly how northern 
Kuropc looked during the Ice Age. The Pleistocene 
period had already been ablv treated by Professor 
James Geikie, who showed that the recent investi- 
gations of continental glacialists go far to prove 
that it was marked by great changes of climate. 
Eras in which more than half of Europe lay under 
Scandinavian ice alternated with others so mild that 
a temperate fauna and flora re-occupied the region, 
to disappear again at a fresh onset of Arctic cold. 
The climatic and geographical changes of this 
period were, without doubt, witnessed by our Pahc- 
olithic predecessors, who, however, with the mam- 
moth and giant deer, never revisited northwestern 
Europe after they were driven to southern France 
by the advance of the last great northern ice-sheet. 
Many lively discussions were elicited in the eco- 
nomic section by papers dealing ably with impor- 
tant social subjects, such as labor, the dwellings of 
the poor, and technical education. Topics of an 
exceedingly abstruse nature, however, predominated, 
and it is doubtful whether half a dozen of his 
hearers understood Mr. Edgeworth in his opening 
address on the points at which mathematical 
reasoning is applicable to political economy, al- 
though he evaded many difficulties by distributing 
to his audience printed notes illustrating the use of 
curves in special problems. The chemical section 
had, this year, a distinctly practical aspect. The 
manufacture of iron and steel received ample con- 
sideration, and, as also in the section of mechanical 
science, blast furnaces excited much discussion. In 
the last named section, deep interest was felt in Mr. 
Anderson's presidential address, which dealt with 
the conception of dynamic equilibrium in the ulti- 
mate particles of matter in all its forms. Inert 
solid masses he showed to be built up, like liquids 
and gases, of moving particles, and thus to be sub- 
ject to more or less permanent changes from exter- 
nal forces. The practical importance of these views 
lies in the explanation of such phenomena as the 
failure of pieces of machinery, which, theoretically, 
were abundantly strong for the work they had to 
perform ; spontaneous fractures, without any appar- 
ent cause, and often after long delay, in masses of 
metal manipulated by forging or by pressure in a 
heated condition, in such masses also as crank 
shafts, screw shafts, etc. ; long continued stresses, 
or stresses frequently applied, or the cooling of the 
mass, having imposed restrictions on the free 
movement of some, if not all, of the particles, 

developing internal stresses, which slowly assert 
themselves, with the disastrous consequences only 
too well known. 

This year being the jubilee of the practical intro- 
duction of photography by Daguerre and Fox 
Talbot, Captain Abney, in opening the section of 
mathematics and physics, discussed the effect of 
light on matter, especially on the salts of silver. 
The question as to the exact product of a silver 
salt by the action of light, led to the subject of 
photography in natural colors, which Captain 
Abney stated to have been already accomplished by 
a printing-out process. The spectrum, for instance, 
has been produced in all its natural tints by chlorin- 
izing a silver plate, exposing it to white light till it 
assumes a violet hue, heating it till it becomes 
ruddy, and then exposing it to a bright spectrum. 
The process is only interesting from a scientific 
point of view, as it requires not only a bright light, 
but also a prolonged exposure. The production by 
means of the camera of a negative in natural colors, 
from which prints in natural colors might be pro- 
duced, is quite another matter, and, in the present 
state of our knowledge, appears impossible. Cap- 
tain Abney explained the different steps by which, 
with the addition of various fugitive dyes to plates 
prepared by the gelatine process, it has been ren- 
dered possible to delineate those portions of the 
spectrum tfrat do not impress an ordinary photo- 
graphic plate. We have thus in photography a 
means of recording phenomena in the spectrum, 
from the ultra-violet to a very large wave in the 
infra-red, — a power which physicists may some day 
turn to account, possibly in a search for stars, dead 
or newly born, whose temperature — being below 
red-heat — renders them invisible to the eye in the 
telescope. Captain Abney concluded by the state- 
ment that if, as it deserves, photography had fol- 
lowers of the highest scientific calibre, it would 
soon prove itself the handmaid of Science as well as 
of Art. C. 

[Specially Observed for The Popular Science Jfews.] 




Average Thermometer, 

.\t 7 A.M. . 
At 2 P. M. 
At 9. P. M. 
Whole Month 

Last 19 Novembers 

Autumn of 1SS9 . . 
Last 19 Autumns . . 







20' • 


t »n 1873. 

in 1S89. 

51. 60- 

( in 1S7J. 

.5-J-57; j 

in iSSi. ( 






The lowest point of the mercury the last month, 
at the hours of observation, was 20°, on the morning 
of the i6th, and this was also the coldest day, with 
an average of 27.33-^. The 30th was the next coolest, 
at 30". The highest point of the month was 64'-'. on 
the morning of the 3d, — a very unusual occurrence 
for the warmest observation of an entire month to 
be in the morning. The wind had been southwest, 
but changed to the northwest soon after that morn- 
ing observation, carrying the mercury down to 38" on 
the following morning, — a fall of 26° in twenty-four 
hours. The 3d was also the warmest day, at sS'-'. 
The entire month was 5.04-^ warmer than the aver- 
age, and the warmest November in nineteen years. 
The extremes of temperature in November have 
been 31.12° in 1873, and 43.62<^ in 1889,— a range of 
12.50" The frosts of the season have been very few 
and light, thus far : three in October, and seven in 
November, only two of which have been severe — 
those on the i6th and 17th. 

The average temperature the past autumn has 
been 51.60°, while the average in nineteen autumns 
has been 50. iS°, with extremes as shown in the table. 
Only three autumns in nineteen years have been 
warmer than the present, viz.: 5357° in 1881, 
52.51° in 1877, and 52.33° in 1878. 


The face of the sky, in 90 observations, gave 38 
fair, 16 cloudy, 26 overcast, and 10 rainy, with no 
trace of snow, — a percentage of 42.2 fair, while the 
average in nineteen Novembers has been 54. 2, with 
extremes of 400 in 1885, and 74.4 in 1874. Only 
one November in nineteen years has been more 
cloudy than the present. The following mornings 
were noted foggy: the ist, 9th, 13th, and 19th; that 
of the 9th was peculiarly dark, and the darkness 
continued through most of the day. And yet we 
had several very fine days in this very gloomy 
month; the 4th, 7th, 14th to i6th, 26th, and 29th 
were so noted. 

The per cent, fair in the last nineteen autumns 
was 56.3, with extremes of 41.8 in 1889, and 69.2 in 
1874, showing the present to be an extreme. Only 
three autumns in nineteen years have fallen below 
even 52 per cent. fair. 


The amount of rainfall the past month was 5.76 
inches, while the average for the last twenty-one 
Novembers has been 417, with extremes of in 
1SS2, and 7.45 in 1877. The amount in November 
has exceeded the present five times during this 
period, viz. : 6 87 in 1876, 7.45 in 1877, 6 25 in 
1878, 6.30 in 1885, and 7.28 in 1888. The largest 
amount the present November was 2.41 inches, on 
the 27th and 28th ; i 50 inches fell on the 19th, and 
the remainder in smallerquantities, well distributed. 
The amount of precipitation since January i has 
been 54.39 inches, while the average for the same 
months in twenty-one years has been only 43.16, 
showing an excess this year thus far of 11. 19 inches. 

The amount of rainfall the past autumn was 13.96 
inches, while the average for the last twenty-one 
autumns has been only 11. 11 inches, with extremes 
of 342 in 1874, and 21.47 '" 'S8S, — a remarkable 
range of 18 05 inches. 


The average pressure the past month was 
30.011 inches, with extremes of 29.35 on the 22d, 
a'nd 30.52 on the 26th and 27th, — a range of 1.17 
inches. The average for the last sixteen Novembers 
has been 29.985 inches, with extremes of 29.840 in 
1878, and 30.193 in 1880, — a range of .353 inch. 
The sum of the daily variations the past month was 
6.45 inches, giving a mean daily movement of .215 
inch, while this average the last sixteen Novembers 
has been .232 inch, with extremes of .127 and .293. 
The largest daily movements were .56 on the 28th, 
•55 o" the 13th, and .50 on the 15th. There were 
five principal barometric waves during the month, 
with elevations on the ist, 5th, 12th, i6th, and 26th, 
and depressions on the 3d, loth, 14th, 22d, and 28th. 

The average barometer during the present autumn 
was 30.008 inches, while the average for the last 
sixteen autumns has been 30.001, with extremes of 
29.S81 in 1S75, and 30.070 in 1S80,— a range of .189 


The direction of the wind the last month gave 
II N., I S., 3 E., 34 W., 5 N. E., 18 N. W., 4 S. E., 
and 14 S. W.,— an excess of 15 northerly and ^4 
westerly over the southerly and easterly, and indi- 
cating the average direction the past month to 
have been W. 15" 32' N. The westerly winds in 
November, for the last twenty years, have uniformly 
prevailed over the easterly, by an average of 47.9 
observations, and the northerly over the southerly, 



[January, 1890. 

with four exceptions, by an average of 14.9, — thus 
indicating the approximate general average direc- 
tion for November to be W. I'j^ 17' N., showing 
the past montli to have been a near average. The 
relative progressive distance travelled b\' the wind 
the past month was 56.05 units, and during the last 
twenty Novembers 1,003 such units, an average of 
50.15, — showing less opposing winds the past month 
than usual. 

The direction of the wind the last autumn was 
W. 23° 39' N., and the distance travelled 114 6 units; 
and during the last twenty autumns the average 
direction has been W. 13° 30' N., and the distance 
travelled 2,191 such units, — showing that the winds 
have been lo'-" 9' more northerly, and less opposing 
winds, the last autumn than usual. D. W. 

Natick, Dec. 5, 1889. 

[Specially Computed for The Popular Science News.} 

JANUARY, 1890. 
The earth is in perihelion on the morning of 
January 2. Mercury comes to eastern elongation 
on the evening of January 13, when it is a little less 
than 19° distant from the sun. At the beginning of 
the month it is about 15° distant, and sets an hour 
later. It can probably be seen any evening during 
the first half of the month, when the sky is very 
clear, low down in the western horizon, soon after 
sunset. During ths latter half of the month it 
rapidly approaches the sun, and passes inferior con- 
junction on January 29. Venus is still a morning 
star, but is too near the sun to be conspicuous. At 
the beginning of the month it is about 12° distant, 
and by the end the distance is only 2'-', It will pass 
superior conjunction on February 18, and will then 
be an evening star until next December. Mars 
rises about 1.40 A. M. on January i, and at about 1 
A. M. on January 31. During the month it moves 
somewhat rapidly eastward through the eastern 
part of the constellation Virgo. It is gradually 
approaching the earth, and will be quite a conspic- 
uous object during the spring months. It will pass 
opposition with the sun on May 27, when it will be 
three and one-half times as near the earth as it was 
on January i. Jupiter is not in good position for 
observation in January, on account of its nearness 
to the sun. It passes conjunction on the morning 
of January 10, and becomes a morning star ; by the 
end of the month it has receded to a distance of 
about 17'^', and may possibly be seen in the early 
morning twilight. Saturn is in the constellation 
Leo, and is moving slowly westward toward Regu- 
lus, the brightest star of the constellation. It rises 
a little before 9 P. M. on January i. and at about 
6.30 P. M. on January 31, and is on the meridian a 
little less than seven hours later. It will come to 
opposition on February 18. Uranus is in the con- 
stellation Virgo, and moves slowly eastward during 
the month. It rises at about i A. M. at the begin- 
ning, and at about 11 P. M. at the end of the month. 
It is in quadrature with the sun on January 16. 
Neptune is on the meridian at about 9 P. M. on 
January i, and at about 7 P. M. on January 31. It 
is in the constellation Taurus, between the groups 
of the Pleiades and the Hyades. As it is only 
of the eighth magnitude, it cannot be seen without 
a telescope. 

The Constellations. — The following positions of 
the principal constellations give their places at 10 
P. M. on January i, 9 P. M. on January i6, and 8 
P. M. on January 31. Auriga is near the zenith, 
the principal star, Capella, being a little north. 
Orion is just coming to the meridian on the south, 
about halfway between the zenith and horizon. Below 
and a little east of Orion is Canis Major, with 

Sirius, the brightest of the fixed stars. Nearly on 
the same level, and east of Orion, is Procyon, the 
principal star of Canis Minor. Near the eastern 
horizon is Leo; above this. Cancer, and above Can- 
cer and near the zenith is (jemini. On the north- 
east is Ursa Major, the two pointers being nearly as 
high as the pole star, and the handle of the dipper 
pointing downwards. The greater part of Ursa 
Minor is under the pole, and the brightest stars of 
Draco are very close to the northern horizon. Per- 
seus is near the zenith in the northwest; below it is 
Cassiopeia, and Cygnus iS' on the horizon. An- 
dromeda is a little north of west, below Perseus, 
and Pegasus is just below Andromeda. Pisces is 
just west of Pegasus; above Pisces is Aries, and 
above Aries and near the zenith is Taurus, with the 
groups of the Pleiades and Hyades. Cetus is in the 
southwest, and Eridanus a little west of south. 

L-VKE Forest, III., Dec. 2, 1889. 

LETTER.S of inquiry should enclose a two-cent 
stamp, as well as the name and address of the wri- 
ter, which will not be published. 

Questions regarding the treatment of diseases 
cannot be answered in this column. 

K. T., Bombay, India. — Is there ^ny chemical 
substance which, when sprinkled over combustible 
bodies, will cause them to ignite.' 

Ansuter. — Phosphorus can be dissolved in bisul- 
phide of carbon, and when the solution is poured 
upon porous bodies, like paper or wood, it will 
spontaneously inflame as the liquid evaporates. 
This "liquid fire" is, however, an cxtremelv dan- 
gerous substance for inexperienced persons to 
handle, and we would not advise any experiments 
with it. 

F. I. D., New York. — What causes the fatal effect 
of powerful electric currents.'' 

Answer. — The most active cause is, undoubtedly, 
the shock given to the nervous system, but there is 
also a chemical decomposition of the bodily fluids, 
and a direct burning action, all of which may aid in 
the result. Just how electricity causes a nervous 
shock, no one knows, any more than we know what 
electricity really is. 

T. H. W., New Votk. — Is there any fu.'ible alloy 
which will melt at about 140"^ .' 

Answer. — The following mixture melts at a tem- 
peratu.e between 150° and i6o'-\ and is the most 
fusible alloy of which we have knowledge. Bis- 
muth, 50 parts; tin, 12 parts; cadmium, 13 parts; 
lead, 25 parts. Melt the lead and tin together, and 
afterwards add the bismuth and cadmium, stirring 
the mixture with a dry, clean wire. 

G. F. B., Boston. — Please give directions for mak- 
ing a mixture for blowing large and strong soap- 

Answer. — We have given this recipe several times, 
but repeat it, as there may be others who have over- 
looked it. Take shavings of the best Castile soap, 
and make a saturated solution in warm water. Let 
it stand over night, and the next day pour off the 
clear liquid and add to it from one-third to one-half 
its bulk of glycerine. Shake well and it is readv 
for use. 


Chemical Technoloyy, edited by Charles Edward 
Groves and William Thorp. Vol. I., Fuel and 
Its Applications. P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Phil- 
adelphia. Price, $750. 

This is the first volume of a series of eight on 
chemical technology. It is the most exhaustive 
work that has been issued for some years, including, 
as it does, all our knowledge of chemistry as adapted 
to the arts and manufactures. The magnitude and 
importance of this work deserves a more extended 
notice, at some future time, than the limits of this 
column will allow. It is a complete compendium 
of all the existing knowledge on the subject of fuel, 
which, it may be remarked, is the very foundation- 
stone of nearly all industrial processes. We can 
recommend the work as indispensable to all who 

have control of any industrial establishment where 
the question of fuel is to be taken into consideration. 
The work is profusely illustrated, and the mechani- 
cal execution is of the superior quality of all books 
published by this well-known house. 

Mommsen's History of Rome. Abridged by C. Br\- 
ans and F. J. R. Hendy. Chas. Scribner's Sons, 
New York. Price, $1.50. 

Two English teachers have done an excellent 
work for schools and colleges in condensing Momm- 
sen's six volumes into this comely book of 542 
pages. The task has been performed with skill and 
judgment, and with a constant regard to educational 
purposes which cannot fail to win the favor of 
teachers and students. The 20-page index is a com- 
mendable feature. 

Experimental Science, by George M. Hopkins. 

Munn & Co., New York. Price, $4.00. 

This is a handsome octavo of 740 pages, with 6S0 
illustrations, devoted to experimental physics. It 
comes out very opportunely, when teachers are 
opening their eyes to the value of practical work in 
this department of instruction. It will be equallv 
useful to those who are well equipped with illustra- 
tive apparatus, and those who have to depend on 
such appliances as they can construct for them- 
selves from cheap and simple materials. The hints 
for this latter kind of work are particularly full and 
ingenious. The entire ground of school physics is 
covered by the book: the properties of bodies; rest, 
motion, and force; the mechanical powers; mole- 
cular action; hydrostatics and hydraulics : the phe- 
nomena of gases; sound, heat, light (including 
microscopy, photography, etc.), magnetism; elec- 
tricit3-, in all its forms and applications; lantern 
projection ; and the mechanical operations con- 
nected with the manipulation of glass and metals, 
and laboratory work in general. No brief notice 
can do justice to the merits of the volume, which is 
by far the best in its line that has appeared on either 
side of the Atlantic. 

The J. G. Cui)plcs Co., of Boston, have published 
a full account of Dr. Brown-Sequard's alleged new- 
discovery which has recently created so much 
interest in medical circles. It includes Dr. 
Brown-Sequard's original paper. Dr. Variot's ex- 
periments, and all the more important literature of 
the subject, together with a biographical sketch and 
portrait. Price, 50 cents. 

The J. B. Lippincott Co., of Philadelphia, have 
published a valuable work on Foods for the Fat, 
(price, 75 cents), by Nathaniel E. Davies, of the 
Royal College of Surgeons, England. It gives 
many useful hints in regard to diet, and other 
means of avoiding the evil of corpulency and 
decreasing the bodily weight, together with recipes 
and directions for cooking dishes suitable for per- 
sons troubled with an excess of adipose tissue. 

A Hand- Hook for Sugar Manufacturers and Their 
Chemists, by Guilford L. Spencer, contains all the 
necessary tables and information required in the 
important industry of sugar-making and refining. 
Many of the tables have never before been published 
in this country, and will be found of great value to 
those in charge of such establishments. Published 
by John Wiley & Sons, New York. 

From D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, we have received 
Rick's Natural History Object Lessons ($1.35), Niels 
Klim's Wallfahrt in die Unterwelt, and Victor Hugo's 
Bug Jargal, all school text-books of the highest 
degree of merit,, and worthy of examination by 
teachers and school committees. 

Everybody's Iland-Book of Electricity, by Edward 
Trevert, is a useful and popular little book, which 
everyone interested in the modern applications of 
this wonderful manifestation of energy can read 
with pleasure and profit. Damrell, Upham & Co., 
Boston. Price, 25 cents. 

Pamphlets, etc., received : Temperance Literature 
and Publications of the Woman's Temperance Pub- 
lication Association, 161 La Salle St., Chicago; 
Highway Improvement, by Col. Albert A. Pope, 
Boston ; The Transfer of the United States iVeather 
Service to a Civil Bureau; Graphic Methods ni 
Teaching, and the usual State and National Agricul- 
tural Reports. 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 



IQediciije aijd PliariQacy. 

Ix recent times the idea has become very 
prevalent among a certain class of senti- 
mentalists that crime is not an indication of 
innate depravity, but a symptom of mental 
and physical disease, or an inheritance from 
some criminal ancestor, and, therefore, the 
much-a])used murderer or robber is not a bad 
man, but only an unfortunate one, deserving 
of pity and care rather than punishment. A 
sick man, tiiey say, ought not to be impris- 
oned, and one who is staggering under a load 
of homicidal tendencies bequeathed to him 
by his grandfather, is not worthy of death, 
even if he does occasionally send some of his 
less unfortunate fellow-beings into the next 
world. This idea is carried out to its logi- 
cal conclusion in a somewhat noted book, 
Looking Back-ivard, written by Edward 
Bellamy, where, in his assumed ideal state 
of society a thousand years hence, the few 
criminals that are left are considered as vic- 
tims of atavism, or a reversion to previous 
types of humanity, and treated in hospitals 
instead of jails — an idea scarcely more absurd 
than the other ultra-socialistic theories of that 
most preposterous work. We doubt verv 
nnich that if a man should assault and rob 
Mr. Bellamy some dark night, he would turn 
and offer him a prescription for the cure of 
his '"atavism." 

To a certain extent, the above ideas are 
correct ; a man physically and mentally sound 
is less likely to commit criminal acts than one 
with a diseased body or abnormal mental 
action, and the history of the notorious Jukes 
family proves beyond question that from a 
single criminal ancestor may spring a long 
line of descendants, a majority of whom will 
be enemies to the welfare of societv. But 
granting that a tendency to crime may be 
inherited, it must originate somewhere, and 
if a man's ancestor may have been a sponta- 
neous criminal as it were, another man of 
the present day may also be laying up, on 
his own responsibility, a heritage of crime 
for his unborn descendants. 

It has been suggested — and the plan has 
met with general approval — that criminals 
should not be allowed to marry and repro- 
duce their kind to the injury of posterity. 
This would be a most excellent method of 
reducing the criminal population, if the pro- 
hibition of a legal marriage to such persons 
would ensure their leaving no descendants. 
Unfortunately, the victims of " atavism " have 
inherited a tendency to look upon the mar- 
riage laws of modern society as distinctly 
, superfluous, and we fear that the total number 
of children born among them would not be 
very greatly reduced by any such enactment. 

Practically, it is of very little consequence 
whether crime is a disease, an inheritance, or 

an original manifestation of "pure cussedness." j sufficient to keep the average worker in good 
The criminal is an enemy to society under j health. One part of nitrogenous to seven or 
any circumstances, and society has a right to | eight parts of non-nitrogenous food is found 
protect itself from him. A rabid dog is not to be a fair combination. A very small 
to blame for his condition, but we shoot him addition of stimulants appears to increase the 
just the same, as a matter of protection ; and, amount of possible work; but moderately 
for the same reason, it is right that a mur- i free drinking diminishes it. Women eat less 
derer should be put out of a world in which i than men, after making allowances for differ- 

he is not fit to live. If a man is not able to 
live among his fellows without robbing them 
or otherwise injuring their property or per- 
sons, let him be remo\ed from among them 
and permanently confined where he can do 
them no harm. It is not a question of pun- 
ishment or revenge, but of self-protection. 
If the abnormal tendencies can be eradicated, 
and the criminal made a useful member of 
society, every effort sliould be made to that 
end ; but, if crime is a disease, it seems — at 
least in its more serious manifestations — to be 
an incurable one. The percentage of re- 
formed criminals is discouragingly small, and 
that of those convicted for subsequent offences 
disproportionately large. The best treatment 
of such persons is a perplexing question, but 
the right of self-preservation is paramount to 
every other consideration, and the morbid, 
unwholesome sympathy shown by an increas- 
ing class of people towards those who are so 
much out of harmony with their social envi- 
ronment, will only result in great injury to 
the orderly and law-abiding classes of societv, 
without causing any decrease of crime or 
conferring any permanent benefit upon the 
criminals themselves. 


A RECENT writer in an English medical 
journal shows conclusively that, while certain 
classes, owing to the stress of poverty, cannot 
obtain the nutriment they really need, the 
majority of people eat too much. Fortun- 
ately a moderate - degree oi over-eating does 
not appear to be markedly injurious. The 
digestive apparatus, thougli compelled to do 
more work than is really necessary, proves 
equal to the demands made upon it and does 
not break down or get seriously out of order. 
This is but one illustration out of many that 
might be given, showing how the marvellous 
mechanism of the human body adopts itself 
to conditions more or less abnonnal. It 
is lucky for the average man that physiologi- 
cal laws are not of Medo-Persic inflexibility. 
He can violate them to a limited extent with- 
out incurring the penalty, though he finds 
that, if he goes beyond that point, the punish- 
ment is swift and sure. 

Careful investigations prove that the daily 
"destructive metabolism," or, in plain Eng- 
lish, the inevitable waste and wear of the 
body, which is the measure of the work it 
does, varies but little for different occupations. 
A diet of from twelve to fourteen ounces of 
chemically dry Ibod, if the ingredients are 
in proper portion and readily digestible, is 

ences in weight and work. Where a man 
eats nineteen ounces, a women of the same 
weight and equally active habits eats only 
fourteen or fifteen ounces. This latter allow- 
ance, as will be seen from the figures given 
above, is more than enough for a hard-work- 
ing man, even when all meat is excluded 
from the diet. It is no' uncommon thing, 
however, for a man of average size and 
activity to eat double this amount, or from 
twenty-five to twenty-seven ounces of chemi- 
cally dry food in a day. In fact the writer to 
whom we are indebted for these statistics 
does not hesitate to assert that the majority of 
people in England eat literally twice as much 
as they need. 

We are inclined to think that excess in eat- 
ing is at least no less common in this country 
than in England. The abundance, variety 
and cheapness of food are naturally favorable 
to this over-indulgence. If we do not "live 
to eat," we are very far from making it the 
law of our diet to "eat to live." The palate 
is tempted to intemperance by appetizing- 
dishes when it would be fully satisfied with a 
normal amount of plain and wholesome food. 
Probably there are few of our readers who 
will not have to confess that often the 
appearance of the puddings or pies revives 
the appetite which had been completely 
appeased by the meat and its concomitants in 
the preceding course at dinner. We feel 
that we have had enough, but the new and 
savory appeal to our love for the good things 
of the table is too much for us. We have 
been eating because we were hungry ; we 
now go on eating because we enjoy doing it. 
It is not necessary, but it is "nice." Let us 
congratulate ourselves that, though gluttonv 
and intemperance are bestial sins and cannot 
escape their punishment, moderate over-in- 
dulgence in eating is, as we have said, 
apparently a venial offense against the laws of 
health ; but let us beware of presuming tco 
much upon the mercy with which Nature 
tempers justice in the enforcement of these laws. 

A Case of Glanders.— Much interest was felt 
alike by native and foreign physicians in Vienna, in 
the recent case of Dr. G. HofTmann, assistant in the 
Hygienic Institute at Vienna, who fell a victim to 
glanders whilst conducting experiments with the 
virus, and who was said to have contracted the dis- 
ease by using upon himself a hypodermic syringe 
with which he had made the inoculation of animals 
with the cultures of the bacteria. It is now author- 
itatively stated that this method of infection has 
been disproved by the post-mortem examination, 
which showed the respiratory mucous membrane to 
be the starting point of the infection. 



[January, 1S90. 

I Specially Compiled for The Popular Science Neio8.\ 
by w. s. wells, m. d. 
Suture of the Quadriceps Femoris-Tenuon. 
— Dr. W. T. Bull presented to the section in sur- 
gery at the New York Academy of Medicine, Nov. 
II, 18S9, a young man, aged 17, who, on the 29th of 
last April, was admitted to the New York Hospital 
with a cut across the knee received from a circular 
saw. The injury was three-quarters of an inch 
above the patella, laying open the joint and denud- 
ing the internal condyle of the femur of its cartilage, 
and severing the quadriceps femoris. A three-inch 
incision was made upward trom the center of the 
wound, and the ends of the tendon were approxi- 
mated and sutured with catgut. A drainage-tube 
was inserted and removed on the fourth day. The 
patient was up and around, with his limb in plaster 
of Paris, on the tenth day. He was discharged at 
the expiration of the fourth week, and the plaster 
dressing was removed three weeks later. Motion 
had gradually been restored to the joint, and at the 
present time the power of extension was normal, 
and there existed no interference with flexion. 

Dr. R. G. Wiener, at the same meeting, showed 
a patient whose tendon he had sutured at a point 
below the patella. The operation had been done in 
this case some five years ago, by Dr. Sands at the 
Roosevelt Hospital, and with good results as to 
union and motion. In December last the patient 
had fallen down stairs, and had ruptured the tendon 
once more, when he came under the speaker's care 
at Charity Hospital in June last. The patella was 
found to be four inches above the joint, and the 
power of extension was entirely absent. On the 
29th of June an incision nine inches in length was 
made, laying bare all the tissues down to the joint. 
No remains of the patellar tendon could be dis- 
covered. It was impossible to make the patella 
approach its proper relation to the joint, and the 
operator then divided the quadriceps femoris tendon 
above the patella, and, after restoring the latter to 
its proper position, drilled both it and the tibia, and 
secured the patella to the latter with stout wire. 
The continuity of the tendon above was then re- 
stored by suture. After a lapse of two weeks, pri- 
mary union was found to have resulted throughout. 

Dr. a. M. Phelps presented to the Academy of 
Medicine, New York, lately, a boy, about 7 years 
of age, who had been submitted to excision of the 
astragalus for tubercular disease of the ankle-joint. 
The disease relapsed, other bones becoming in- 
volved, and a surgeon had condemned the case for 
amputation. The patient then came under Dr. 
Phelps' care, and he opened the joint, followed 
sinuses down to the bones, and scraped nearly all 
the bone out of the periosteal covering except in the 
cuneiform. After suitable dressing without ligation 
• of the vessels, the Esmarch bandage was taken off 
and the cavities allowed to fill with blood. The 
dressing was not changed for three weeks ; union 
was primary; at the end of five weeks the bones 
had become solid, there having been reproduction 
of the OS calcis, cuboid, and scaphoid. There was 
very good motion of the ankle-joint, the child walk- 
ing as well as he had ever done. The operation 
was done last May. A plaster of Paris dressing was 
worn some time after the fifth week. 

Dr. Phelps also presented an Italian girl, who, 
when 5 years of age, had had extensive osteo-myelitis, 
involving, apparently, the entire tibia, fibula, and 
femur. The knee was anchylosed at a right angle. 
The patient had lain in bed five years. The ques- 
tion was debated whether to amputate or to exsect 

the knee. The latter method was adopted in No- 
vember last, and it was Dr. Phelps' intention on 
cutting down upon the knee to perform Fenwick's 
operation, making the end of one bone concave and 
the other convex, but he found tubercular or fatty 
degeneration in the interior of the femur and tibia, 
and consequently scraped them out, leaving only 
the shell, which he coaptated in a straight line by 
wires, allowing the cavities to fill with blood. 
When the first dressing was changed, at the end of 
five weeks, the clots had organized and formed bony 

Dr. Powers inquired of Dr. Phelps what histolog- 
ical changes took place in the reproduction of bone 
through blood-clot. 

Dr. Phelps replied that the blood-clot itself was 
not supposed to organize, but that it acted as a 
framework for the growth of the cell-tissue which 
took place in it, constituting the normal elements 
in that particular locality. As the new tissue 
formed, the blood-clot became absorbed. 

Dr. Robert Abbe presented a woman to the 
New York Academy of Medicine on whom he had 
excised the sheath of the flexors of the thumb and 
index and little fingers because of the growth of 
melon-seed bodies, now recognized to be the result 
of tubercular inflammation. The case was inter- 
esting in connection with the question of secondary 
operations to free divided tendons. Notwithstand- 
ing complete removal of the sheath of the tendons 
in this case, and in other cases, freedom and power 
of motion had afterward been complete. The 
wound, of course, must be kept antiseptic, and 
primary union take place, without any pus. In his 
case, only voluntary motion was resorted to ; this 
was begun on the sixth day. 

Dr. Curtis related the case of a girl who, last 
winter, had suflfered from an attack of cellulitis in 
the hand. When he saw her she had entirely re- 
covered, but the right fore finger was bound down 
by adhesions in the tendon at the metacarpo- 
phalangal joint. He laid back a flap, found the 
tendon and its sheath bound together in a mass of 
fibrous tissue, dissected them apart, put the finger 
in extension, closed the wound, kept up active 
motion, and had a result of normal power and 

Dr. p. de Tullio, assistant to Professor Cantani 
in the University Clinique at Naples, has lately 
suggested {London Medical Record) a method of 
applying cold air directly to the interior of the 
lungs in cases of pulmonary hemorrhage. The 
apparatus consists of a metal box through which 
run several tubes, A^hich communicate with an 
outer larger tube leading to a mouthpiece, which 
the patient holds between his lips. The box is 
filled with ice, or with a mixture of snow and salt, 
so as to cover the tubes. Air is then pumped with 
a suitable bellows into the tubes, and in its passage 
through the box containing the refrigerant substance 
it becomes cooled down to 0° centigrade. This is 
ascertained by means of a thermometer introduced 
into the tube at some distance beyond the box, 
through an aperture which can be closed with a 
cork. Dr. de Tullio reports three cases in which 
severe h.-cmoptysis was arrested by this plan, when 
drugs, ice to the chest, and the other usual measures 
had failed. It does not, of course, cure the condition 
on which the bleeding depends, but it is an effectual 
remedy for the symptom. 

he asserts, to arrange phonograms by means of 
which the hearing can be accurately measured. The 
operation of the apparatus is simple. The ear-piece 
is applied to the ear which is to be tested, and a 
phonogram which is audible to the patient is 
sounded. The acoumetric scale is then descended 
until a phonogram is reached which cannot be 
heard. This marks the limit of hearing for that 
ear. In this manner the source of sound remains 
always at the same distance from the ear, and only 
the intensity of the tone differs. 

Milk sugar in cardiac dropsy is regarded by Ger- 
main See as the most reliable and least harmful diu- 
retic. He attributes the good effect of milk diet almost 
exclusively to the lactose. One hundred grammes 
(3% OZ-) of lactose will produce an enormous diure- 
sis, increasing the daily discharge in twenty-four 
hours to two and one-half liters, and daily over- 
reaching this, until on the third day, four to four 
and one-half liters are voided. Milk sugar, there- 
fore, removes cardiac dropsy surely and rapidly, and 
only fails if Bright's disease complicates it. 

M. G. See has recently pointed out, before the 
Academy of Medicine, that iodide of potassium, far 
from being a depressant, is really a cardiac tonic, of 
almost equal value to digitalis or strophanthus in 
certain cases. Indeed, he says that iodide of potas- 
sium is the real cardiac drug {vrai medicament du 
cacur), since, when prescribed in cases of uncom- 
pensated mitral lesions or affections of the myocar- 
dium, it increases the cardiac power and raises 
vascular tension. Thus, by subsequently causing 
dilatation of the arterioles, it enables the heart to 
recover its power, and affords also better facilities 
for the coronary circulation, thus improving the 
nutrition of the heart muscle. 

According to the Deutsche Medizinal-Zeitung, 
Lichtwitz maintains that Edison's phonograph fills 
the requirements for an acoumeter. It is possible, 

Dr. Rodriguez Mendez, professor of hygiene in 
the Medical Faculty of Barcelona, has just published 
in a new Spanish journal, La Medicina Practica, 
some notes of a case of a peculiar affection of the 
fingers and nails which appears to have been due to 
the patient's trade, that of a confectioner. Poncet, 
of Paris, and Albertin, of Lyons, have also noticed 
the existence of this aflfection among those who are 
engaged in the calling of a confectioner. Dr. Men- 
dez's patient was a man about 40 years of age. His 
trouble was a combination of onychia and parony- 
chia, caused by immersing the hand in hot and cold 

G. W. Watson, in the Ohio Journal of Dental 
Science, says: "I have very good authority for 
saying that diseased roots and teeth have a great 
deal to do in starting tubercutar trouble in the lym- 
phatic glands of people predisposed to this disease. 
Tubercle bacilli, gaining admission to the jaw 
through the diseased teeth, speedily infect the 
structures in their neighborhood. It would be 
right, therefore, for us to look well to the teeth of 
patients having a tubercular tendency, and see that 
they keep their mouth in a thoroughly healthv and 
aseptic condition." ♦ 

The cases of antifebrin poisoning are multiplying. 
Dr. Pauschinger {iluench. Med. Wochenschr.) reports 
one such case — that of a strong man, 34 years old 
who took at intervals of one hour five powders, each 
containing one gramme of antifebrin, for the relief 
of a supposed fever, when violent diarrhoea ensued, 
which confined him to his bed for ten days. 

Dr. E. Fuerth ( Wiener Med. Presse) reports 
another case in which a girl suffering from pain in 
one side of her head, took four grammes of antife- 
brin as a remedy. Nausea, eructation, pains in the 

Vol. XXIV. No. i.] 



stomach, and frequent vomiting followed quickly. 
The patient became almost unconscious. Cerebral 
symptoms and violent delirium soon succeeded. 
This condition continued for almost two days. 

A ciRiOL's case of poisoning is reported from 
New South Wales {Australasian Med. Gaz.) A 
woman who was suckling twins took a dose of 
chlorodyne at night and suckled the twins afterward. 
In the morning they showed signs of narcotic 
poisoning, and died during the day. 

Semmola declares that the administration of 
antipyretics in continued fevers, produces a poison- 
ous rather than a beneficial effect, the repose secured 
being at the expense of vital force. 

Dr. Koniostein, while giving directions in his 
class on the uses and prescribing of spectacles, said 
that green glass as a protection against strong rays 
was worse than useless, and did more harm to a 
sensitive eye than good, as they allowed the yellow 
rays to be transmitted, and unnecessarily irritated 
the eve. As a protection against strong rays, the 
blue or smoked glasses were the only real protection. 
The blue should be light. 

Semmola proposes sulphur as the coming antis- 
eptic, most serviceable, he thinks, forusein derange- 
ments of the alimentary canal. 


ExA.MiNATioN of Several color-blind persons hav- 
ing convinced me of the practical value of a com- 
pound tassel of green and gray silk cords as a 
preliminary indicator of defective color-vision; and, 
moreover, having studied Professor William Pole's 
interesting memoir, describing his own case, which 
is illustrated by a diagram, showing bands of 
" neutral gray " appearing to him in the middle of 
the green and at the deepest red, or crimson, o 
Chevreul's colored cercle chromatique ; I felt very- 
desirous of trying an experiment to see for myself 
whether it was possible, by the administration of af 
small dose of santonine, — which is said to cause 
temporary color-blindness, — to realize in my own 
case the imperfection of vision which seems common 
to most color-blind patients. 

Such an experiment I made on the 29th of 
August; but, before proceeding to describe the 
result, it should be mentioned that I have good 
proof of my being blessed with the possession of a 
normal sight ; for in the course of a long experience 
with coal-tar colors, and having frequent occasion 
to compare observations with regard to slight dif- 
ferences of tint with my six colleagues, I have never 
perceptibly deviated from the consensus of the labo- 
ratory staff, and may fairly claim to be reliable on 
this score. On a fine day, provided with an ample 
selection of chemical specimens and colored objects, 
and Ladd's direct vision spectroscope ready to hand, 
I took, fasting, a small dose of santonine, a grain 
and a half, dissolved in a small quantity of alcohol 
and diluted with water. In less than five minutes 
the drug had taken effect; the white table-cloth 
appeared of a delicate bluish green color — pale tur- 
quoise, and all objects were seen as through specta- 
cles of that precise tint. A rapid survey was made 
of my varied collection of objects, and I went into 
the garden to use my spectroscope. I could see all 
the solar colors in unbroken series with scarcely 
perceptible variation ; the Fraunhofer lines were 
there as usual (not th-ckened), the violet extending 
up to the usual limit, and so with the red end, with 
slightly diminished brilliancy, but hardly appreci- 
able absorption ; there was no neutral gray hand in 
the green, but this portion of the spectrum appeared 

quite normal and splendidly brilliant. The obser- 
vation was repeated a few minutes later with the 
same results. 

Turning to my colored specimens: Nickel, cop- 
per, and iron sulphates, iodide and chromate of 
lead, ultramarine, and ammonio-sulphate of copper, 
were quite normal; oxalate of cobalt had not lost its 
delicate pink color, nor nitrate of uranium its well- 
known shade. On the other hand, scarlet iodide of 
mercury was decidedly dulled, and a fine sample 
of carmine appeared more like crimson. By run- 
ning my eyes along the book-shelves in my library, 
I soon noticed that (jmelin's Chemistry — Cavendish 
Society series — and other old-fashioned green bind- 
ings assumed a kind of slatey appearance, crimson 
backs appeared as maroon, dark brown was con- 
verted to chocolate ; but I could see violet quite 
well, bright green pretty much as usual; the Chem- 
ical News, bound in scarlet, appeared red, and 
neutral gray bindings looked only darker in color. 
I could see quite distinctly the difference between 
light-green and slate-gray silk tassels, so that my 
condition was not so abnormal as many of my color- 
blind friends, who fail to see any radical tint-distinc- 
tion between these two dissimilar colors. 

Now for a word of caution. I had taken only 
what might be described as a quarter-dose, — " 2 to 6 
grains"' is the stated quantity in Martindale's Extra 
Pharrnacopaia : other authorities say more, — but at 
the end of fifteen or twenty minutes, the tension 
upon my nervous system proved so serious that I 
feared the worst consequences. I felt so giddy and 
depressed, with a kind of mild tetanus, that I was 
obliged to resort to an emetic, — mustard and warm 
water, — which soon gave me relief. I would 
earnestly warn my readers of the danger of repeat- 
ing this experiment; and now, on fuller inquiry, 
I learn that santonine is a drug reported to be 
" sometimes uncertain in its action," and occasion- 
ally developing " poisonous symptoms from its 
depressing effects on the nervous system." I had 
read of Dr. W. G. Smith taking a 5-grain dose to 
induce color-blindness, without dangerous conse- 
quences, and resolved to take a very much smaller 
quantity, 1V2 grains, in the first instance, well know- 
ing that more than this had often been' given to 
children. Perhaps taking it in the state of solution, 
and before breakfast, or a wrong dose, made all the 
difference. However that may be, I shall never 
again try ophthalmic experiments with santonine, 
and would warn others against doing so without 
proper medical advice. 

My object is accomplished : I wanted to search 
for Professor Pole's neutral gray bands in the solar 
spectrum, as he sees them in Chevreul's famous 
cercle chromatique diagram, but did not find them. 
Nor, it may be added, do any of my color-blind 
friends see any break in the solar spectrum, although 
we know that the heavy green pigments are by them 
so often mistaken for gray. Furthermore, it does 
not appear that santonine gives the same kind of 
color-blindness as commonly presented by the natu- 
ral defect, or my color test of green and gray would 
at once have indicated it. — Read by Prof. John 
Spiller, before the British Association. 


The writer, in September, 18S6, had occasion to 
consider this question in his daughter's case, owing 
to the mother's deficiency in milk. The food used 
as a substitute on that occasion has proved so suc- 
cessful in more than one case that it merits record- 

The formula is mainly based on a process devised 
by Professor Frankland in rearing one of his own 
children. In his paper (published December, 1S54) 

Prof. Frankland gives the percentage amounts of 
the different constituents of human, ass's, and cow's 
milk as follows : 

Womatu Ass. Cow, 

Casein 2.7 1.7 4.2 

Butter 3.5 1.3 3.S 

Milk-sugar 5.0 .,.5 3.S 

Salts .; .5 .- 

These figures for human and cow's milk differ in 
several respects from the averages deduced from a 
wider range of analyses which are quoted bv Mr. 
Thomas Maben in a paper published in the Pharma- 
ceutical .Tournal, the most notable differences being 
those of sugar and fat; but on referring to the min- 
imum and maxinumi figures found bv Professor 
Leeds, from analyses of eighty samples of human 
milk from different sources, it will be seen that 
those given b_y Professor Frankland provide him 
with a basis for a formula which produces a fair 
imitation of human milk with that of the cow. 

In this formula. Professor Frankland takes no 
account of the differences in coagulable and non- 
coagulable albuminoids existing in each of the re- 
spective milks. His process practically consists in 
a precipitation (by means of rennet) of one-third of 
the casein from fresh cow's milk, and the addition 
of one-third more milk-sugar, but this was found by 
the writer somewnat tedious, except to a specially 
trained person. The process of dilution with water 
was adopted because it was simpler, and would 
enable the food to be prepared in a few minutes 
whenever it was required. 

Taking Professor Frankland's figures for the 
average of fresh cow's milk, as quoted, it will be 
seen that when it is diluted with water in the pro- 
portion of three parts of the former to two parts of 
the latter, the average amount of constituents is 
modified as follows : 

Fresh cow's milk, 3 parts; water, 2 jjarts — 

Casein. z.^z p^r cent. 

Fat i.iS 

Sugar 2.2S " 



From these figures the writer compiled the fol- 
lowing formula. The albuminoids, fat, and milk- 
sugar are by calculation made to approximate as 
nearly as possible to the average of these constitu- 
ents in human milk. 

Finely ground oatmeal. . .1/4 gradually increasing to '/j ounce. 

Fresh butter 1 drachm. 

Milk-sugar 2 drachms. 

Fresh cow's milk 6 fluid ounces. 

Pure water 4 fluid ounces. 

Salt 5 grains, or a sufficiency. 

Mix gradually the water with the oatmeal, milk- 
sugar, and salt, so that no lumps are formed in the 
mixture, then add the milk and butter, and heat to 
the boiling-point in a clean, enamelled saucepan. 
The product should be made up to the measure of 
half a pint, if necessary, and given lukewarm with 
a spoon when required. 

The oatmeal was introduced as a useful attenu- 
ant, and it has been found to act as a laxative, and 
also as a direct fat and heat-producer in tlie process 
of digestion. The process of feeding with a spoon 
is at first troublesome, but it is to be preferred to 
the use of a feeding bottle, as, if care be taken to 
have all the vessels employed scrupulously cleah, 
the infant will enjoy an immunity from thrush 
{Oidium albicans), diarrhoea, and other diseases 
that follow in their train.— George Smith, in 
Pharmaceutical Journal. 


A DENTAL journal publishes the following, trans- 
lated from the German : In 17 13 there was pub- 
lished a pamphlet entitled " A Complete Account of 
the most Useftil Stomach Brush which is now to be 



[January, 1890. 

had at the Brushmakers at the Old Court Sadler's 
Shop in Broad Street in Colln-on-the-Spree." Manj 
a one may have wished to be able once in a while to 
have his stomach thoroughly cleaned out, and this 
speculative brushmaker gave a practicable means to 
give effect to this wish. In the pamphlet there is a 
drawing of the stomach-brush : it resembles a pipe- 
cleaner, but, of course, is larger. The stalk is made 
of four wires twisted together, covered with thread, 
silk, or small ribbons; it is twenty-six inches long. 
The brush at the under end is two inches long and 
one and a half broad, and is made of goat's-beard 
hair; but, when one has been accustomed to use it 
for three or four weeks, a horse-hair brush is sub- 
stituted, this hair being somewhat stronger, and so 
the effect is better. The application of this most 
excellent brush is very simple. It is pressed through 
the throat down into the stomach, which, by draw- 
ing up and down of the brush, is cleaned. There- 
after cold water or brandy is to be drunk, and the 
operation is repeated till the cleaning is perfect. 
The cure is repeated every morning. The author 
says, according to the British Medical Journal, "At 
first you will find it rather troublesome to get the 
brush down, but when you put it in your mouth 
and on your palate, draw in breath and wind, and 
press it gently and gradually down, and, without 
any particular trouble, it will i-each the stomach. 
After eight to fourteen days' practice, it will come 
as easily to you as eating or drinking." Of course, 
the daily application of the stomach-brush is the 
infallible remedy or preventive of all diseases that 
can be imagined. " Whoever uses this cure requires 
no other medicine, for it is good against all — cold, 
hot, and poisonous fevers, it gives a good appetite 
for eating, it is good against asthma, hemorrhage, 
headache, chest complaints, coughs, consumptions, 
apoplexy, toothache, sore eyes, dysentery, quinsy 
on the tongue, quinsy in the throat, ulcers, ab- 
scesses, cardialgy; it favors digestion, strengthens 
the heart, drives away pimples on the skin, is 
against choking in the stomach, etc., makes too 
fat and asthmatical and swoUen-iip people thin", and, 
on the other hand, makes meagre and thin people 
fat. The great effect, however, is produced only 
when the use of the brush is combined with that of 
an elixir. This is compounded of aloes, saffron, 
rhubarbona, lark-mushroom, wormseed, eugian, 
myrrh, theriac. After the stomach-washing, forty 
to fifty drops of the elixir is to be taken in wine, 
and this preserves for twenty-four hours against all 
poison and pestilence." — Science. 

One of the most recently patented syntheticcom- 
pounds that has made its appearance in Germany is 
neither a hypnotic nor an antipyretic, but is said to 
act to an extraordinary degree on the spinal cord, 
completely antagonizing the action of strychnine. 
It is therefore proposed as a physiological antidote 
for that poison, and it is expected to prove of value 
in the treatment of tetanic affections. This com- 
pound is said to be made by heating together defi- 
nite quantities of the hydrochloric acid compound 
of paraamidophenolethyl ether, sodium formate, and 
formic acid in a flask with a reflux condenser, and 
separating the formyl compound formed by boiling 
the fused mass in water. On cooling, the water 
deposits the formyl amidophenol ether in handsome 
white brilliant tasteless scales, which melt at 69° 
C.) are slightly soluble in cold water, and are read- 
ily soluble in hot water, in ether, and in alcohol. 
This compound corresponds in its composition to 
that of phenacetin, save for the substitution of the 
formyl for the acetyl group. 

Many familiar culinary substances have been 
found to have valuable medicinal properties, at 
least in household therapeutics ; but the nutmeg, so 
far as we are aware, has not been among the num- 
ber. Its turn has now come, however, for Dr. J. O. 
Shoemaker tells us, in the Medical Bulletin, that it 
is useful in the treatment of summer diarrhoea, 
many cases yielding readily to doses of half a 
drachm administered in milk. Insomnia is said to 
be effectually relieved by it, when opium has failed 
and chloral is objectionable. In delirium tremens 
it can be employed with safety and benefit, when 
anv other sedative would be dangerous. For itching 
and irritable hajmorrhoids an ointment of two 
drachms of powdered nutmeg, one drachm of tannic 
acid, and one ounce of lard, is an excellent applica- 
tion. Powdered nutmeg may be administered in 
doses of from two to ten grains for children, and 
from ten grains to two drachms for adults. Larger 
doses have produced profound coma, lasting for 


Popular Science News Company, 

5 Somerset !<itreet, Boston. 





The Publishers of the NEWS earnestly request that sub-, 
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Remittances will be duly credited on the printed address 
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At a recent meeting of the New York Pathologi- 
cal Society, Dr. T. Mitchell showed some hair-balls 
from the stomach of a pig. The balls were made up 
of the hair of the pig, which had been licked off and 
swallowed, mixed with sand and other matters. The 
hair had a curious spiral arrangement, showing the 
effect of the gastric movements. These hair-balls 
are found very commonly in the pig's stomach, but 
their occurrence is of interest by reason of the bear- 
ing that it has on human pathology, since they are 
sometimes found in the stomach of man. Dr. Prud- 
den then showed two hair-balls from the stomach of 
a 3'oung woman, which had been removed by Dr. 
Finder, of Troy, and presented by him to the mu- 
seum. There were two balls, one considerably larger 
than the other, which were made up of human hair, 
horse-hair, threads from blankets, pieces of string, 
etc. The girl had been insufficiently fed in her 
youth, and had got into the habit of swallowing 
miny kinds of inert and indigestible substances. 
Other specimens were presented of hair-halls from 
the cow's stomach. — Medical Record. 


A School for Children's Nurses. ^-A long- 
cherished plan of a training-school in New York 
for nurses for children has assumed definite shape, 
and such a school is expected to be in operation by 
January ist. Quarters have been taken in the 
Nursery and Child's Hospital, at No. 571 Lexington 
avenue. A regular six months' course of training 
in the care of children is to be adopted. This will 
include instruction in matters of hygiene, such as 
the care of the nursery, ventilation, preparation and 
administration of food, and dressing and washing 
children. A post-graduate course will provide in- 
struction in some of the simpler methods o( medical 
treatment of children. 

A reporter of the Pittsburgh Dispatch "does 
up" an amputation for the delectation of his readers, 
and explains the great care taken "to keep small 
insects out of the wounds." "After the leg was 
severed from the body," says the scribe, " the stump 
was scraped very carefully; the chloride of mercury 
was kept flowing constantly over the wound to kill 
any insects that might be drawn by the wound. 
The doctors hold that the air is full of poisonous 
germs, which are attracted to a wound where blood 
flows. All the linens and gauze which are used in 
operations, are soaked for twenty-four hours in 
bichloride from 100 to 500 per cent, in strength. 
This is done to pi-event the slightest irritation after 
the operation has lieen performed ! " 

Publisliers' Colimji!. 

The writing master who wrote that his business was flourish- 
ing, doubtless used Esterbrook's Xo. 128 extra fine elastic 
pen, the best for ornamental writing. 

All subscriptions to this journal received lo Dec. 26th have 
been credited on our mailing books, and the printed address 
label of this number. See if yours reads, Jan., '91. 

Try our Clubbing List when ordering your reading matter 
for 1S90. Send in the list of periodicals you want, for esti- 
mates, and see what we can save you. 

Why not have a good memory? Send a card to tlie Memory 
Co., 6 W. 14th St., N. Y. City, for a pamphlet giving u rive- 
ininute chat upon the subject. 

From Wilmer Brinton, M. D., Baltimore; " 1 have used 
CoLDEN's LiQjJiD Beef Tonic in my practice, and have 
been much gratified with the result. As a tonic in all cases of 
debility and weakness, aniemia, chlorosis, etc., it cannot be 

Frye's Emulsion of Cod Liver Oil is continually grow- 
ing in favor among pliysicians, owing to the purity of its con- 
stituents, and the care and skill with which they are combined. 
Being emulsified by steam-power, the complete and minute 
subdivision of the oil globules is always assured. 

The Ice Machines made by David Boyle, of Chicago, 
have an enviable reputation for economy, efficiency, and relia- 
bility. In many cases they have been substituted for the 
machines of other manufacturers, with satisfaction and profit. 
They incidentally produce a large quantity of pure distilled 
water, which can be sold for domestic uses in localities where 
the natural supply is unsatisfactory. 

Dr. W. S. Leonard, Hinsdale, N. H., says : *' I have used 
Horsford's Acid Phosphate in my practice for the past 
eight or ten years, and have been much gratified with the 
results obtained from its use. In various forms of dyspepsia it 
reaches a class of cases that no other medicine seems to touch, 
and I have repeatedly seen patients, where opiates were contra- 
indicated, obtain refreshing sleep and rest at night from a 
single dose at bed-time." 

Littell's Living Age for 1S90. — In 1S90 JJttelf's Living 
Age enters upon its forty-seventh year of continuous and suc- 
cessful publication. A weekly magazine, it gives over three 
and a quarter thousand large and closely-printed pages of read- 
ing matter — forming four large volumes — every year. Its fre- 
quent issue and ample space enable it to present with freshness 
and satisfactory completeness the ablest essays and reviews, 
the choicest tales, the most interesting sketches of travel and 
discovery, the best poetry, and the most valuable biographical, 
historical, scientific, and political information from the entire 
body of foreign periodical literature, and from the pens of the 
most eminent writers of the time. Such authors as Prof. Max 
MuUer, Jas. A. Fronde, Prof. Huxley, Rt. IIon.W.E.Gladstone, 
Edward A. Freeriian, Prot. Goldwin Smith, Prof, Tyndall, 
Francis Cialton, The Duke of Argyll, Sir Lyon Playfair, Arch, 
deacon Farrar, \Vm. Black, Mrs. Thackeray-Ritchie, Mrs. 
Oliphant, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Parr, R.D.Blackmore,Th(unas 
Hardy, W. E. Norris, B. L. Farjeon, \V. E. H. Lceky, Alfred 
Russell Wallace, John Morley. W. H. Mallock, P. G". Hamer. 
ton, W. W. Story, Ruskin, Browning, and many other foremost 
writers in all departments of literary and scientific work, arc 
represented in its pages. As the only satisfactorily complete 
compilation of the best literature of the day, it is invaliuible to 
the American reader. It enables him, with a small expenditure 
of time and money, to keep fully abreast with the literary pro- 
gress of the age. The price is $S.oo per year, but by special 
agreement with Messrs. Litlell & Co., we can supply the Ago. 
' and the SciKNCE News for only $8.25. 

Cije ^0})ttlar Science 0tMiS 



Volume XXIV. 


Number 2. 


Familiar Science. — The Standard of Length 17 
The Proto- Helvetes. or Lake -Dwellers of 

Switzerland 17 

The Chigger 19 

The Rainy Season of Florida 19 

Scientific Brevities 20 

Practical Che.mistry and the Arts. — Nov- 
elties in Photography _ . 20 

The Scientific Knowledge of the Ancient 
Greeks and Romans 


In Ye Olden Time 

Industrial Memoranda 

The Out-Door World. — Prof Guttenberg"s 

Course in Mineralogy 

New York City Assembly of the A. A. . . 

Reports from Chapters 

Original Observations 

Mole Crickets "... 

Editorial. — Old Proverbs from a Scientific 

A Double Statue 

Paris Letter 

Interesting Results of Defoliation of Plants in 
the Azores by a Cyclone 

Meteorology for December. 1889, with Review 
of the Year 

Astronomical Phenomena for February, 1890 

Qiiestions and Answers 

Literary Notes 

Medicine and Pharmacy. — Warts .... 

A Simple Water Still 

Chloride of Ammonium in Winter Cough 
Monthly Summary of Medical Progress . 

A Unique Prescription 

Medical Miscellanv 









Publishers' Column 32 

Fanjiliar Science. 

In the United State.s and England the 
standard of length is the yard, and the ques- 
tion, How long is a yard .' It may be 
said in answer that a yard is simply an arbi- i 
trary standard which tradition says is based 
upon the length of the arm of Henry VIII. ', 
At present the yard is the distance between i 
two marks upon a certain bar, kept in the 

Tower of London, and if it' should be de- 


stroyed, the exact standard could never be' 
replaced. ! 

To avoid this uncertainty, and obtain a 
fixed and unvarying standard, the French, in 
the last century, made an accurate measure- 
ment of a quadrant of the earth's circumfer- 
ence, and, taking the ten-millionth part of 
this distance, gave it the name of »/e/rr, and 
adopted it as the standard of length. This, 
length, which is equal to about 39.37 inches, ! 
is now in universal use on the continent of 
Europe, and is authorized as a legal .standard 
in nearly all civilized countries. Consider-^ 
able discussion has arisen as to whether the 
original measurement \\ Jis perfectly accurate, ! 

and it seems probable that there was a small 
error, so that if the standard metre now kept 
in Paris should be destroyed, a re-measure- 
ment of the quadrant of the earth would not 
give us exactly the same metre. However, 
the error in any case is a very minute one, 
and the chances are very small that the origi- 
nal standard will ever be destroyed, to say 
nothing of the fact that the numerous copies 
distributed among the various nations of the 
world do not appreciably difter from it. 

The accompanying engraving shows the 
form of these standards, which have been 
copied with most scrupulous care from the 
original metre at Paris. It is probable that 
they do not differ from the standard over 
two ten-thousandths of a millimetre, or one 
five-millionth part of the entire length. 
These standard bars (i) are cast from an 
alloy of platinum with ten per cent, of 
iridium, forming a metal almost as hard as 
steel, practically infusible, and not acted 

upon by chemical reagents. The measure- 
ments are marked upon the surface A, (i), 
and the peculiar shape of the bar is especially 
calculated to endure a strain without bending ; 
and, in fact, a slight deflection — as shown, 
much exaggerated^ in 2 — will not materially 
alter the length of the face on which the 
scale is engraved. It has been proved that a 
weight of eighty pounds may be placed on 
one of these bars, while supported at the 
ends enly, without permanently altering its 

The standard of weight is the gramme, 
which is the weight of a cubic centimetre of 
water at 4° C. — its point of maximum density. 
Practically, the standard at Paris is a block 
of the platinum-iridium alloy weighing one 
thousand grammes, or one kilogramme. 
Copies of this- standard of weight have also 
been made for the several nations comprising 
the International Metric Conference, and it 
is believed that they do not vary more than 
one hundred-millionth from the original — a 
dimension which is utterly imappreciablc. 

A meeting of the International Conference 
was held at Paris last September, when the 
work of the committee who prepared the 
various standarids was ratified, and the stand- 
ards accepted for the respective nations. The 
successful completion of this work, which 
has been in progress for about fifteen years, 
marks an epoch in scientific progress, and 
denotes an amount of care, skill, and accuracy 
on the part of those having the work in 
charge, which cannot be realized by anyone 
except those directly concerned in it. The 
simultaneous destruction of these widely scat- 
tered standards of measure and weight is 
almost impossible, but even in such a remote 
contingency, another measurement of the 
earth's circumference would practically give 
us back our metre, with no important change 
from its original length. 


[Original in Popular Setaice Xewt.] 


The little town of Morges is picturesquely situated 
on a bay formed by the waters of Lake Leman. It 
boasts, among other attractions, a beautiful view of 
Mont Blanc. The castle (now used as an arsenal), 
the church, the quaint houses, with the castle of 
Wufflens on the heights, are very ancient — supposed 
to date back to the Roman occupation of the coun- 
try. The ancient city, however, which attracts the 
attention of scientists to this charming spot, is not 
the Morges visible to the eye. Those stone imple- 
ments and the rude pottery which the Museum of 
Antiquities at Lausanne displays as from the 
"ancient city of Morges," belong to pre-historic 
times, dating back to ages before the Romans set 
foot in Helvetia. 

But if the Lacustres, or lake-dwellers, were a 
pre-historic race, how are we to learn anything 
about them .' The archneologists, to whom we look 
for the solution of this problem, do not fail us; one 
by one they have wrested the objects in the 
museums from the bottom of the lake, and from 
them have evolved a history of the habits and cus- 
toms of this interesting people. The lakes of 
Switzerland kept jealous guard of the secrets com- 
mitted to their charge. A mere accident revealed 
the pre-historic occupation of the country. A bone 
implement, rudely fashioned, was found bv a scien- 
tist in a marsh. A small thing this; still, falling 
into the right hand*, enough to open out a new 
field of archaeological research. 

But, before we follow the labors of the patient 
men of science, it will be well for us to take advan- 
tage of the oppol-tunity this visit to Morges affords 
us, to see for ourselves the site of one of the cities 
of the Lacustres. We must take a boat, for the 
palafittes* of this primitive people were built on 

*Term universally used to express " Ikke-dwellin^,*' from Ihe 
IUIi»a Pala rUte. 



[February, 1890. 

piles, between 100 and 150 yards from shore. The 
boatman barely moves the water with his oars, as 
he directs our attention to the veptiges of the ancient 
city. Fortunately, the azure lake, this glorious 
April day, is clear as crystal, without a whisper 
from the "bise" to ruffle its serenity. We see the 
piles in irregular groups, some two to three yards 
below the surface. Those of the most ancient sta- 
tions are merely trunks of trees driven deep into 
the mud. They stand from one to three feet in 
height, in semi-circular form, with intervals that 
look like passages between the groups. As we 
move slowly over the lake, we pass a boat at 
anchor, in which are two scholarly looking men, 
— fishing.' Yes, fishing; though the quality of the 
fish they hook would scarcely satisfy the mundane 
appetite. These fishermen belong to the coterie of 
scientists whose researches have lifted the veil from 
the past of the Proto-Helvetes. " They work here," 
says my boatman, "every clear day and all day 
long." The difficulties which attend these labors 
may be realized by a glance at the piles beneath the 
dazzling, moving waters, between which are the 
objects sought, covered with the mud or gravel of 
at least three thousand years. The work has to be 
carried on by means of special apparatus. Today, 
a magnifving-glass a foot in diameter floats close to 
the boat. One of the professors bends over this 
instrument, as he makes use of his dredge ; the 
other is cautiously manipulating a long pole. 

Drifting here upon the breast of Leman, the 
majestic head of Mont Blanc confronting us with 
his crown of dazzling brilliancy, with the men of 
science to aid us in our effort, can we not re- 
construct upon these sunken piles the city of this 
ancient people ? 

Who were the Proto-IIelvetet.' Why did they 
build their dwellings in this laborious manner on 
the lake? A learned archieologist* tells us that the 
L,acustres were colonists from Asia, — not by any 
means savages, as we understand the term. Pro- 
fessor Virchow, who has made an exhaustive exam- 
ination of the skulls found among the palafittes, 
corroborates this statement. The conformation of 
the skulls shows the race to have been Aryan, and 
of a high degree of intelligence, capable of as much 
— if not more — development than ourselves. Fur- 
ther proof may be found, if needed, in the objects 
ranged in the museums, which demonstrate the 
evolution of the Proto-Helvete from the earliest 
Stone Age to that of the comparative civilization of 
the Bronze. It must not be forgotten that the 
forests extending to the shores of the lakes were 
then haunted by wild beast*. The stone weapons 
were insufficient protection against the ravages of 
these enemies, and we may suppose that the colo- 
nist was driven to erect hie dwelling on the lake, 
as a defensive measure. 

It was impossible to make any mental picture of 
these dwellings until about ten years ago, for all on 
the lakes of Switzerland had been destroyed by fire. 
M. Frank, however, inspector of the forests at 
Schussenried (Wurtemburg), was fortunate enough 
to find a palafitte of the Stone period in a marsh 
which he was surveying. It was in a perfect state 
of preservation, and by its means we can gain some 
idea of the dwellings of the Lacustres. It was built 
on piles, in the shape of a right angle, ten meters 
long, by seven in width. It was divided into two 
compartments, communicating by a passage made 
of three beams. There was only one door, which 
faced the south, and was one metre in width. The 
outer room, in which a pile of flat stones and debris 
of charred bones indicated a fire-place, was the 
kitchen, or living-room; perhaps, also, in the cold 

* The Proto- Helves, by Victor Gr»s<. 

season, a shelter by night for the domestic animals. 
The inner and more spacious compartment was 
probably the sleeping-room. The floors were 
formed of round poles lying close together; the 
partitions, of piles split in two; while the roof had 
the circular form of an old-fashioned bee-hive. 
Thus, taking this palafitte for our model, we can 
build our city of Merges with the mind's eye. We 
see in the Lacustres' an industrious people, busily 
at work, having their work-shops on the platforms 
surrounding their dwellings. Here they fashioned 
their weapons, their pottery, and their utensils of 
horn, bone, and wood. 

And now, having seen the vestiges of this race in 
one of the eastern lakes, let us pass to the western 
lakes of Switzerland, where the archieological work 
has been carried on with much greater success. 
The rectification of the courses of the rivers Aar 
and Thielle, with the construction of canals, neces- 
sary to dry the marshes of Seeland, lowered the 
level of Lakes Neuchatel, Bienne, and Morat. The 
stations of the Stone Age became dry, and those of 
the Bronze almost so. The researches could be 
carried on all the year round, and without the use 
of the cumbrous engines hitherto considered indis- 
pensable. In the eastern lakes, the scientists are 
confined to the months of winter, when the waters 
are at their lowest level. 

The Stone stationt laid bare revealed such dis- 
tinct characteristics, that Dr. Gross found it neces- 
sary to sub-divide the age into three periods, taking 
the objects found in the palafittes as exponents of 
his theory. 

The products of the first period are very primi- 
tive. The hatchets are small, unpolished, roughly 
shaped, and the tools of horn and bone equally 
unfinished. The mineral used for the stone imple- 
ments is always that of the country, the softest, 
most easily worked, being most frequently used, — 
such as the molasses rock. The pottery is made of 
coarse clay, without the aid of a turning-wheel, and 
shows by its clumsiness the very infancy of the pot- 
ter's art. No trace of ornamentation is found on 
arms, tools, or pottery. The large number of sta- 
tions which produce this rude handiwork gives 
convincing proof to the archaeologist that many 
centuries must have passed ere the Lacustre arrived 
at the perfection which the palafittes of the second 
period display. 

This second period is one of continuous progress. 
The museums show hatchets and hammers which 
would do credit to our own skilled workmen. The 
weapons and utensils of horn, bone, and wood are 
beautifully finished, and the pottery takes graceful 
forms, even showing crude traces of ornamentation. 
A very interesting featurfe of this period is the pres- 
ence of foreign minerals, not merely in arms and 
implements, but in beads and small ornaments. 
Hatchets in nephrite, jadeite, and chloromelanite 
are found in the proportion of five to eight of 
indigenous material. It is impossible to solve the 
problem as to how the Lacustres obtained these 
Asiatic minerals. The theory that the first colo- 
nists brought them to the country is contradicted bv 
the fact that only indigenous mineral is found in the 
earliest stations of the Stone Age. Dr. Gross 
thinks it probable that the Proto-Helvetes of this 
second period held commercial relations with other 
nations, thus obtaining the harder stone they 
required for their weapons and implements. This 
would seem to be the more probable explanation, 
since directly copper was introduced the foreign 
mineral disappears. Metal quickly supplanted even 
these beautiful minerals, which are capable of such 
great polish. Arrow-heads of stone, flint, and bone 
are found in all three periods of the Stone Age. 
That these objects served another purpose has lately 

been proved by M. de Fellenberg. who found a 
curious instrument of wood, at the station of Fenil, 
in which these heads, fastened with resin, form a 
strong saw. Two indentations are made in the 
handle for the fingers of the workman. The pala- 
fittes furnish sufficient proof of the intelligence and 
industry of the Lacustres. This second period ot 
Stone finds them feeling their way towards a stage 
of civilization which requires more of life than 
merely food and shelter. The innumerable objects 
in horn, bone, and wood display skilled workman- 
ship. Among these may be cited : arms, tools, 
fish-hooks, harpoons, small goblets, beads, brace- 
lets, cleverly carved pendants, large buttons, needles, 
combs, hair-pins (perforated, sometimes, so that 
they might be fastened by a thread to the hair), and 
well-shaped spoons. Bone, being a material less 
easily worked, was reserved for articles requiring 
greater strength, such as poignards, arrow-heads, 
and combs for carding flax. The debris of wooden 
objects has brought to light an unequivocal sign of 
progress among the Lacustres of this period — noth- 
ing less than a yoke for oxen. It is interesting, 
also, to note among the fragments of cups, plates, 
and dishes, a variety of small boats, shovels, etc., 
— evidently playthings for children. Bows, the 
complements of the arrow-heads, are rarely found. 
Communication with the shore was made by means 
of bridges and boats. The piles give evidence of 
the existence of the former, while remains of the 
latter abound — mere trunks of trees hollowed by fire. 
A boat was lately dug out of the mud at Vingrave 
(Lake Bienne), which is well preserved and of a 
diflferent shape. The stern is square instead of 
round, the bows are pointed, notches are cut in the 
sides for the oars, while there is a place in the bot- 
tom for a false keel to keep the water out. This 
boat, carefully preserved by means of frequent 
applications of linseed oil, is now in the museum of 
Neuve-ville. The palafittes were also supplied with 
ladders long enough to reach from the bottom of 
the lake to the platform on which the Lacustre 
performed his daily work. Dr. Gross has one in his 
collection. Teeth of animals (wolf, bear, and dog) 
were perforated and worn as armulets. 

The second period was followed by what is termed 
by archaeologists the epoch of copper, which means, 
in fact, the transition stage of the age of Stone to 
that of Bronze. This transition period is recognized 
as a separate epoch in the evolution of other races 
besides that of the Lacustre. In Hungary, for 
instance, (according to certain authors), objects of 
pure copper are as numerous as those of bronze. 
North America furnishes more than a hundred 
instruments in copper from one State (that of Wis- 
consin), all of which appear to have been fashioned 
with a hammer. Copper, in its native state, lends 
itself perfectly to the fabrication of tools and arms, 
as it can be shaped into poignards and arrow-heads 
by means of a pebble. The operation of smelting 
ore demands a certain amount of technical skill 
seldom possessed by a primitive race. Still, the 
palafittes deliver up objects evidently moulded, 
proving that the Lacustre was not without elemen- 
tary ideas of the art. The epoch of copper is largely 
represented in the western lakes. But, until the 
discovery of the station of Fenil (Finily), the con- 
clusions drawn with regard to this transition period 
were much restricted by the small number of 
objects found. This station of Fenil, situated on a 
little gulf of Lake Bienne, exposed to the north 
wind, was entirely buried in sand and mud, thus 
escaping the notice of the savants, until the peas- 
ants — in making a ditch — came upon this rich 
archa;ological bed. more than a meter below the ^ 
surface of the soil. Though but a third of this . 
station has, as yet, been examined, the rich yield of 

Vol. XXIV. No. 2.] 



copper objects has thrown new light upon the 
transition period. The old supposition that the 
Lacustre imported his metal implements was over- 
thrown bv the proofs furnished at Fenil to the con- 
trary, amid the debris of the palafittes. But, though 
the chisels, beads, poignards, etc., were home-made, 
the metal was cerfainlj imported. Fenil is the 
exponent here, also, for several ingots of pure cop- 
per have been found at this station, made in porta- 
ble form, pierced for the rings bv which they were 
suspended. The copper poignards are rivetted to 
the wooden handles ; small copper plaques (dress 
adornments) are also furnished with rivets. This 
is a great advance, even on the neat handiwork of 
the second period. It is evident that during this 
transition period — which lasted only until the La- 
custre found that an alloy of tin with the copper 
produced a harder, more beautiful, and more ser- 
viceable weapon — the implements of stone fell into 
disuse. There was no longer a demand for the 
foreign minerals, and the importation ceased. The 
workman was wrestling with the problem of 
metallurgy. The Stone Age was practically dead. 
The pottery of the transition age of copper is dis- 
tinguished by grace and elegance of design ; also by 
a special mode of ornamentation, obtained by means 
of tying threads at equal distances around the vases, 
found also on the urns in the tombs of northern 
Germany. Other forms of decoration also appear — 
the series of lines crossing one another, and impres- 
sions made by the fingers, being, perhaps, the most 
frequent. Remains of baskets, linen tissues, and 
nets belong to this period, and, from the station of 
Locras, Dr. Gross obtained a complete spindle, 
formed of wood, surrounded with thread ; it only 
lacked the stone shuttle. Several shuttles have been 
found, furnished with wooden cylinders, and a clew 
of thread, which, if it were not charred, would seem 
to be of modern handiwork. 

Such, in brief, are the distinguishing character- 
istics of the three periods of the Stone Age, which 
lead us from the earliest ages of the Proto-Helvete 
to his artistic triumphs of the "beautiful age of 

Among the bones of animals found in the debris 
of the palafittes, we have those of the ox, horse, 
goat, pig, sheep, cat. stag, roe-buck, beaver, hedge- 
hog, bear, wolf, wild-boar, fox, frog, otter, hare, 
swan, duck, pigeon, pike, carp, etc. Remains are 
also found of fruits and cereals ; of fruits — the 
apple, acorn, nut, plum, strawberry, raspberrv, 
mulberry, pea, bean, lentil, chestnut, etc.; of 
cereals — wheat, oats, barley, millet, etc 

It is not possible to do more than approximate 
to the length of time between the advent of the first 
colonists to the lakes and the beginning of the 
Bronze Age. Dr. Gross thinks that at least twenty 
or thirty centuries must have passed, judging from 
the number of the stone stations, and the gradual 
progress of the workmanship of the objects found in 
the palafittes. 

The waters of the lakes have been faithful guardi- 
ans of the secrets confided to their care. Perchance, 
the clumsy implement which the patient professor 
in the boat at our side has just succeeded in wresting 
from the " sands of time," has been in hiding for at 
least two thousand years. And the hands that drove 
the piles into the lake, upon which we have built 
our phantom city, have been dust — how long.' 

•Prof. Desor. 

, rOriginal in Popular Seienee Xewa.} 
THE CHIGGER. (Leptus Irriians.)* 

BY H. M. WHELPLEY, PH. G., F. R M. S. 

This is a minute insect, much smaller, but in form 
closely resembling, the true tick (Ixodida:.} It varies 
in color from a dull brick-red to a bright blood-red. 
It has six well-developed legs, each one terminating 
in two stiff hairs. Its maxillje are strong and 
elbowed, and look much like a pair of partially- 
developed legs. The mandibles are large and well 
marked internally by three indentations. After 
measuring twenty specimens, I found the average 
dimensions to be 15 mm. long and 1-6 mm. wide, 
(1-125 by 1-150 inch), and the body is about as 
broad in front as behind. The legs are about the 
same length as the body, and 1-40 mm. (1-2,000 
inch) wide. The following illustration gives a very 
good idea of the animal, as seen under an amplifica- 
tion of about two hundred and fifty diameters : 

Easy Method of Obtaining Oxygen. — It is 
proposed by C. F. Gohring to prepare pure oxygen 
by adding permanganate of potash to peroxide 
of hydrogen rendered slightly alkaline by ammo- 

. Professor C. V. Riley gave an account of the 
insect in the American Naturalist for January, 1873, 
and christened it Leptus irritans, or the "harvest 
mite." In its habitat it is variously known as the 
"chigger," "jigger," "red bug," and "harvest 
bug." I find what is undoubtedly the same insect 
referred to in a European work as the Leptus 
autumnalis, or "harvest flea." In this country, 
this human parasite is confined to the Missi.ssippi 
valley, ranging in latitude from the 35th to the 40th 
degree. It makes its appearance in the early sum- 
mer, about the first of the month of June, and 
continues to annoy human beings until the first 
frost kills off the season's supply. It is most active 
in the month of August. The little pests are found 
on all kinds of vegetation, but especially on black- 
berry bushes. They are least likely to be found on 
cultivated vegetation, and do not thrive well in wet 
seasons. It is in the dry, hot time that the chigger 
adds most to the discomforts of humanity. It seems 
to be partial to mankind, and, as far as I know, does 
not trouble any other animal. They seem to attach 
themselves to the clothing of anyone who comes' 
their way, and immediately start out on a tour of 
inspection to find a suitable place to commence 
operations. If the underclothing is changed soon 
after they become attached to it, the little fellows do 
not give up, but patiently wait, even for several 
days, for the wearing apparel to be put on again, 
when they will crawl upon the flesh and act as lively 
as ever. The majority of them make for the axillae, 
pubes, and the inside of the thighs, while a few fall 
by the wayside and commence operations wherever 
they happen to first come in contact with the flesh. 
On boys and men they are very partial to the exter- 
nal genitals, and sometimes cause an alarming 
inflammation of these part?. 

Within a few hours' time the animal will have 
completely buried itself in the integument, and 
causes a small red swelling with a putulous center. 

*A paper read before the St. I-o\iiR Club ol Microscopists. 

This action is accompanied by intense itching, and 

the animal may be scratched out, but not until it has 
started a sore which will take from a day to a week 
or more to heal. It is a curious fact that some 
people are never troubled by these parasites, no 
matter how much they are among them. It has 
also been noticed that persons from other parts of 
the country will have much more severe sores than 
the natives of the part of the country where they 
abound. After one or two seasons, a stranger be- 
comes acclimated, and is not excessively irritated by 
them. I well remember my first season's experience, 
but subsequent summers I did not fare worse than 
the average persons. 

The methods of treatment are numerous, for, 
although the sores are not dangerous, they are very 
disagreeable, and many things have been tried to 
cure them up quickly. Among the principal appli- 
cations are raw salt pork, bacon fat, water of ammo- 
nia, chloroform, ether, carbolic acid and glycerine 
or oil (80 grs. to i oz.), sulphur ointment, salt 
water, bicarbonate of sodium solution. The most 
effectual method is to look for the individual insects 
by aid of a magnifying-glass, and remove them with 
a pin-point. They are very active before they get 
located, and will travel with considerable rapidity. 
Children become quite expert at catching them 
when on the flesh, and I have known of more than 
a score being removed at one hunt before any had 
found time to take hold of the flesh. The fat salt 
pork grease is the most popular application for the 
sores, but the glycerine and carbolic acid is 
undoubtedly as effectual. The pustule should be 
opened and the pus removed before the lotion is 

Judging from the immense numbers that make 
themselves manifest by attacking man every year, 
the chigger must be a very prolific animal. Its 
mode of life shows that vegatation is its normal 
food. But, like the man-eating tiger, the chigger 
that once tastes human blood has no more use for 
its former food, and perishes in a vain attempt to 
devour all mankind. 

To the microscopist, the chigger is an object of 
interest. It makes an interesting and popular 
mount. In order to obtain the animal in all its 
glory, it should be caught while seeking a lodging 
place on someone's body. Place it directly into 
glycerine, and mount in the same medium while the 
animal is endeavoring to swim: then you will have 
a perfect specimen, in good position to study. 
Examine with a 4-10 inch objective. 

The literature on the subject is exceedingly scarce, 
the article by Prof Riley to which I have referred 
being the only one of note that I have been able to 

[Original in Popular Science News.] 


Thk rainy season of Florida usually begins early 
in June, and continues about three months. This 
year it began on the 15th of June, and ended on the 
24th of September, its time — both of beginning and 
ending — being quite clearly defined. This season 
is characterized by not only frequent, but by fre- 
quently excessive, rains. For many successive days 
there may be showers every day, but there may be 
intervals of several days — as was the case during the 
rain^' season of this year — when no rain falls. There 
is an average of about one heavy rain a week during 
this season. 

I quote some interesting facts on this subject from 
the notes of a local meteorological observer of this 
place (Orlando) : From the beginning of the rainy 
season (June 15) to the end of June, rain fell on 
fourteen days. Rain fell on fifteen days during 



[FiBRUARY, 1890. 

July, twenty-onfe days during August, and eleven 
days during September. There were three heavy 
rains in June, six in July, six in August, and one in 
September. During the June part of the rainy 
season there was a rainfall of 10.23 inches; in July 
the rainfall was 9 41 inches, in August it was 11.30 
inches, and in September (to the end of the rainy 
season) it was 6 02 inches. The total precipitation 
during the rainy season was 36 96 inches. 

The rains of this season are sometimes produced, 
as rains ordinarily are, from clouds that have slowly 
formed ; but the typical rainy season shower comes 
with little warning from an almost cloudless sky, is 
of short duration, and is followed very soon by a 
clear sky again. During some rainy seasons there 
is a great deal of thunder and lightning, while there 
is very little during others. The season of this year 
was one of many thunder-storms, the accompanying 
lightning being often very vivid and abundant, 
while last year's rainy season had but few thunder- 

The cause of this season of abundant rains may 
be learned from a study of the nature and direction 
of the winds that prevail in this region during the 
summer months. The United States (except 
Alaska) extends through two wind zones, the 
variable and the sub-tropical zones, and Florida 
lies in the sub-tropical zone. In this zone the 
easterly trade winds prevail in the western part of 
the United States, but in the eastern part the trades 
are 'frequently interrupted by monsoons from the 
Gulf of Mexico. These monsoons, warmed by the 
Gulf Stream, — on account of which the temperature 
of the western coast of Florida is several degrees 
warmer than that of the eastern coast in the same 
latitude, — and heavily charged with moisture, meet 
the colder trades in this region, and to this occur- 
rence the rains of our rainy season are largely due 

The rainy season, occurring as it does during the 
hottest months of the year, is of immense benefit to 
the climate and vegetation of Florida. If excessive 
exposure to the direct rays of the sun can be 
avoided, a Florida summer, with its almost constant 
breezes, and cool nights, is much more tolerable 
than the summer weather of many regions of the 
North, especially those not in the vicinity of moun- 
tains. Vegetation is very luxuriant during this 
season, — indeed, the rainy season is the great plant- 
growing season of Florida, for two important con- 
ditions of plant growth, heat and moisture, are then 
abundantly supplied. It is during this season that 
citrus trees — and hence, also, their fruit — make their 
most vigorous growth. If our long summers were 
dry, and our winters were wet, living in Florida 
would be far less desirable than it is, — for our win- 
ter climate, as well as that of our summer, would 
siilTer thereby, — and the products of the soil would 
be of far less value than they are. Indeed, if this 
were the case, the citrus fruits might not be success- 
fully produced in Florida. The Florida orange 
would certainly not be the superior fruit that it is. 

An interesting matter connected with heavy rain- 
falls in Florida, is the readiness with which the soil 
in most places receives the water. It might be sup- 
posed that an average of three inches of rain a week 
for twelve successive weeks, — the average during 
our last rainy season, — would iill the soil beyond its 
capacity for holding water, and that much of the 
rain-water would flow off. But this is not the case; 
most of this large amount of water, which, were it 
to fall on clayey soils, would produce damaging 
floods, quietly sinks into the sand, and is lost to 
sight. Only when rain falls rapidly and in large 
quantities, are surface streams formed, and these 
soon disappear. The surface soil of central and 
southern Florida is composed of sand and vegetable 
mould, and this stratum is succeeded by almost 

pure sand, extending to the depth of several feet, 
and underlying this there is usually a stratum of 
clayey sand, called "hard pan." Sand follows this, 
and a second layer of hard pan is usually met before 
selid rock is reached. 

Although winter is called the dry season of Flor- 
ida, it is not to be understood that it is always its 
dryest season, as there is often less rain during the 
spring and autumn months than during the winter. 
The rainfall during March, April, and May of this 
year was i 77, 2.45, and 2 08 inches for the respec- 
tive months, and that for October and November 
was only i 84 inches, while last winter was quite 
wet, the rainfall during January and February alone 
being 15.08 inches. These facts lead to the conclu- 
sion that Florida really has no dry season. It 
would be more correct to classify her seasons, so 
far as precipitation is concerned, as the rainy season, 
and the season of irregular rains. 

Orlando, Fla., Dec. 13, 1889. 

Practical Clioiiiistry aijd tlje yirts. 


The applications of instantaneou.s photog- 
raphy are constantly increasing with the 
greater sensitiveness of modern plates, and 


Hot Water Plants. — ^J. Walter Fewkes has an 
interesting paper in the May number of the Ameri- 
ean Naiuralist on the vegetation of hot springs. 
That vegetation can exist in these hot springs — the 
highest temperature on record in which it occurs is 
200° Fahr. — indicates that vegetation may have 
occurred at a much earlier stage of the earth's his- 
tory than has been generally supposed. The pre- 
vailing form of vegetation in these heated waters is 
algae. Diatoms also occur, but sparingly. They 
have been found in Nevada at a temperature at 
which the vegetation of hot springs is most flourish- 
ing, but usually occur in great abundance in the 
cooled waters of hot springs. 

Combined Fresh Water, Brine, and Gas 
Well. — One of the most remarkable things of 
which Pittsburg boasts is the combination well that 
has been struck on Liberty street. It produces at 
one and the s«me time cold water, pure and sweet; 
salt water, and a flow of gas that, when ignited, 
illuminates the entire surroundings. The well was 
drilled some time ago, to get a supply of pure cold 
water for use in a bakery in the summer and during 
flood times, when city water is not desirable. At 
100 feet the fresh water was struck, and at 200 feet 
the salt water and gas were found. Two casings 
were inserted, — one for the salt water and gas, the 
other for the fresh water, — and now, when the 
engine is started and the gas lighted, spectators 
behold the wonderful sight of fresh water, salt 
water, and fire all coming out of one well at the 
same time. 

Twenty Years of Science. — The editors of 
Nature (London), on the occasion of the twentieth 
anniversary of the establishment of the magazine, 
take occasion to review the progress of science dur- 
ing that period of years. In the physical sciences, 
the development of the atomic theory and the estab- 
lishment of a connection between the theories of 
electricity and light, have been the main achieve- 
ments ; in chemistry, the proclamation of the peri- 
odic law of the elements and the development of 
organic chemistry ; in astronomy, the development of 
the spectroscope, the use of photography, und the 
extension of the nebular hypothesis ; in biology, 
the firm establishment of the Darwinian docrine, 
the development ot the study of bacteria, and, later, 
the effort to determine the position of the Lamarck- 
ian principle, have been the main features. In 
botany, the key-note has been the study of proto- 
plasm and cell-life ; in geology, the greatest advance 
has been in the application of the microscope and 
the stxidy of rock structure. 

Fig. 1. 

the more powerful developers which are 
being almost daily discovered. Apparently, 
there is no limit to the brevity of the time in 
which the sensitive gelatine film may receive 
arid retain a luminous impression, and photo- 
graphs have been taken in such a minute 
fraction of a second, (0.000076), that the ele- 
ment of time is not worth cosideration, and 
they may be considered as absolutely " instan- 
taneous" pictures. 

Fig. 1. 

In Fig. I an instantaneous view of an erup- 
tion in the crater of Vesuvius is shown. It is 
necessaril}' somewhat obscured by the clouds 

Vol. XXIV. No. 2.] 



of steam, but the masses of lava and scorias in 
mid-air are well shown, and indicate the 
quickness of the exposure. The picture was 
taken by a French amateur, M. Luys, on the 
27th of September last. 

Fig. 2 is an excellent view of aman in the 
middle of a high jump. The remarkably 
awkward position of the bodv is noticeable, 
and shows how easily the eye is deceived by 
quick movements. No artist would venture 
to draw a man in such a position as a truthful 
representation of the attitude in jumping, but 
the eye of the camera cannot be deceived, 
even by the most rapid movements. 

Fig. 3 is a reproduction of a photograph 
made without any lens, a metal plate pierced 
with a hole 3-10 of a millimetre (i-ioo of an 
inch) taking its place. The time of exposure 
in a good light was i minute, 18 seconds. A 
sheet of pasteboard may be substituted for the 
metal plate. 

Although the "pin-hole" objective cannot 
replace the usual lenses in all cases, it has 
some advantages over them besides its cheap- 
ness and portability. Spherical aberration 
is avoided, the focal distance can be varied at 
pleasure, and in copying engravings and 
drawings in line or stipple, a very soft and 
pleasing picture is obtained, in which the 
lines or dots are blended together, and the 
details of the artist's work are not so unpleas- 
antly prominent as when the copy is made by 
a regular photographic objective. 

This method is worthy the attention of 
amateurs, and, after a few experiments in 
regard to the time of exposure, very satisfac- 
tory results can be obtained. It is important 
that the edges of the hole be perfectly sharp 
and clear, as the presence of a fringe of fibres 
of pasteboard or metal %\ould have a very 
injurious effect upon the finished picture. 

The, engravings are reproduced from 
La Nature. 

Canary-seed is composed of albuminoids, 138 
percent.; fat, 5.4; extractives, 50.7; indigestible 
fibre, 8.2; ash, 6.8; and water, 15.1. 

[Original in Popular Scunrf y ws.} 






Oi'R word magnetism is derived from Magnesia, 
the name of a town of Lvdia in Asia Minor. In the 
neighborhood of this place there was found a kind 
of stone, variously called Magnesian stone, Ljdian 
stone, stone of Heracles, and Siderite, which was 
observed to have the power of attracting iron. This 
stone, our loadstone (or, more properly, lodestont), 
was known to the Greeks as early as the fourth cen- 
tury before our era. According to Pliny, the Ro- 
mans knew four other localities which furnished the 
mineral: Magnesia in Thessaly, (to which our Eng- 
lish dictionaries erroneously refer as the place from 
which the name was derived), Ethiopia, Boeotia, 
and the Troad. Plato observed that the armature 
of a magnet itself became magnetic; and Lucretius, 
in his great poem on Nature, speaking of the lode- 
stone, says: "It often produces a chain of rings 
hanging down from it. Thus you may sometimes 
see five and more suspended in succession and toss- 
ing about in the light breeze, one always hanging 
down from the one above it and attached to its 
lower side, and each one in turn from the other ex- 
periencing the binding power of the stone, with such 
a continuous current the force flies through all." 
He explains the attraction by assuming the existence 
of an etherial force which poured forth from the 
lodestone or magnet itself, and permeated the pores 
of the magnetized object. Plutarch appears to ex- 
plain the phenomenon on the same principle. The 
magnetic power of the earth itself and the 
phenomena arising from it were, in spite of some 
wild theories to the contrary (it has even been 
claimed that the ancients were acquainted with 
the mariner's compass), completely unknown in 
that day. There were, however, stories of all kinds 
suggested by the power of the lodestone, the best 
known being that of the " magnetic mountain," 
which drew the iron nails from the planks of ships 
that came too near it, and caused them to fall to 
pieces. Ptolemy, the geographer, gave the exact 
latitude and longitude of this remarkable mountain, 
whose existence was firmly believed in. 

Still less did the ancients know o{ electricity. It 
was known from the time of Thales, who lived at the 
beginning of the sixth century B. C, that electron, 
when rubbed, had the property of attracting light 
objects. What is meant by electron in this con- 
nection is not certainly known ; amber, a mixture of 
gold and silver, tourmaline, a certain enamel, 
and platinum are some ol the conjectures of those 
who have discussed the question. However this 
may be, it was afterwards learned that amber was 
the best material for generating this kind of 
electricity. This attraction was personified by the 
imaginative Greeks. They spoke of a soul in the 
amber, as the Chinese physicist Kuo-pho did in his 
Poem in Praise of the Magnet. Plato's view was 
that the amber contained a flame-like essence, but 
gave it out only when the pores of its surface were 
opened by rubbing. This essence, when given out, 
had the same action as the magnet, but. by reason 
of its lightness and weakness, could attract only the 
lightest and driest substances. Pliny, too, speaks 
of a flame which pours out of amber. The con- 
nection of this frictional electricity with the external 
manifestations of atmospheric electricity, and with 
the shocks given by electric fishes (found in the 
Mediterranean and Red Seas), was never suspected 
by the ancients. 


There enn be no question that some of our efctmi- 

cal experiments may lay claim to a very high anti- 
quity. According to Plutarch, whose etymology is 
approved by no less an authority than Alexander 
von Humboldt, the Greek word for chemistry, from 
which our own word comes, was derived from an 
Egyptian word, l<emi, originally meaning Hack, 
which was later a designation of the whole land of 
the Nile ; so that chemistry was synonymous with 
the hlack art! The first known Greek chemist 
(more properly a metallurgist) was Theophrastus, 
who lived in the fourth century before Christ. In a 
a book of his On Minerals he treats of the extraction 
of metals from the ore, and describes the various 
compounds which were formed in the process. 
Among these are white lead and verdigris, which he 
states to be earths, expressly distinguishing them 
from stones or minerals. 

Unfortunately this is the only work on chemistry 
written before the Christian era which has come 
down to us, although we know from references of 
Pliny that such books existed. Their loss is partic- 
ularly to be regretted, because it is possible that 
they might have thrown some light on the subject 
of polychromy, by telling us what aid the Greeks 
derived from chemistry in the preparation of the 
colors with which they decorated their statues and 
temples, and ornamented their walls with paintings. 
The encaustic painting of the Greeks has been 
especially discussed. Cato the Censor, who has 
already been referred to in these papers as having a 
practical knowledge of an important principle of 
heat, expresses some remarkably sound views about 
the rusting or oxidizing of metals under the in- 
fluence of the air, and upon the evaporation of 
water from springs to produce salt. 

The writers of the first century of our era bear 
witness to the chemical progress of earlier times. 
We find from their reviews of the past achi«vements, 
that various chemical preparations were used in 
medicine, especially in the composition of salves, 
and that alloys and amalgams of many kinds were 
familiar. He distinguishes the oxides of copper, 
lead, and zinc from one another. The only acids 
that appear to have been used are vineger (acetic 
acid) and sulphuric acid ; to the former was 
attributed a dissolving power far greater than it 
really possessed. In his passage of the Alps, Han- 
nibal, for example, is said to have dissolved rocks 
which barred his progress by the agency of vinegar. 

The process of distillation was used by the an- 
cients. Aristotle refers to this operation, which is 
clearly described by later writers, together with the 
retort and the rest of the apparatus. The progress 
in the knowledge of alloys is seen in the Roman 
coins of small denominations. These at first were 
made simply of copper, but from the time of Corn- 
modus they were composed of bronze with a vary- 
ing proportion of zinc. 

Soaps were known to the ancients, but were 
merely mechanical mixtures, not chemical. One of 
the supposed soaps found at Pompeii proved ta be 
nothing but fuller's clay. 

Alchemy began in the first century of our era, and 
the atomic theories of the philosphers are said to 
have led to the attempt to change the baser metals 
to the nobler ones. Towards the end of the fifth 
century this pseudo-science became very popular, 
and there were numerous guilds of alchemists at 
at that time. The prolific writer, Hermes Trisme- 
gistus, wrote a book called Tabula Smaragdina, 
professing to teach the art of making gold, which 
was translated at Nuremberg in 1541. 

In the concluding paper of this series the remain- 
ing departments of science will be briefly considered. 

Errata.— In the preceding paper Boethius was 
misprinted Bcethius, and Ptolemaius (thrice) as Ptol- 



[February, 1890. 

[Original in Popular Science JVewi J 


Zinc, sometimes called spelter, is one of our most 
useful metals, and is widely distributed, although il 
never occurs alone. Sulphide of zinc and carbonate 
of zinc are its chief sources, and from these com- 
pounds it has to be distilled. The first step in the 
extraction of zinc is to reduce the ore to an oxide. 
Carbonate of zinc heated gives oxide of zinc and 
carbonic acid gas, (Zn C03 = Zn O + CO2.) Sul- 
phide of zinc roasted gives oxide of zinc and sulphur 
dioxide, (Zn S + 30=Zn O + SO2.) 

To get pure zinc from the oxide, the oxide is 
mixed with coal and heated in a retort. The zinc 
volatilizes, and comes out of the mouth of the retort 
as a vapor. Cadmium is always mixed with the 
zinc, and cadmium vapor comes out first. It is 
lighted, and burns with a brown flame. As soon as 
the zinc vapor begins to come off, the flame changes 
CO green. An iron cap is then placed over the 
mouth of the retort, through which the vapor 
passes, and is condensed into a fine dust. Gradu- 
ally the cap becomes hot and melts the dust into 
liquid zinc, which runs into moulds and is cast into 

The process described is called the Belgian pro- 
cess; there are two others, the Silesian and the 
English. The Silesian process differs only in the 
retort. The mixture of ore and coal is put in and 
heated, and the vapor passes out through a tube 
bent at right angles to the retort. The tube is kept 
cool, but not cool enough to condense the vapor 
into solid zinc. If this should happen, the pipe 
would become clogged and the retort would burst. 
In the English process, the retort consists of a 
tightly covered crucible, through the bottom of 
which passes a pipe. This pipe is stopped with a 
wooden plug, and the mixture of ore and coal is put 
into the crucible and heated. As the mixture grows 
hotter, the plug is converted into charcoal, allowing 
only the zinc vapor to pass through. The reaction 
which takes place in the furnace is, in all cases, 
2Zn + C=2Zn-|-C02. 

The pure zinc obtained by either of these pro- 
cesses is a bluish-white metal, having a metallic 
lustre and a crystalline fracture. It does not rust 
easily, and takes a good polish. Owing to this 
polisfi, it is used for making stage jewelry. Under 
the most favorable conditions, however, it rusts 
slightly, becoming carbonate of zinc. At ordinary 
temperatures it is brittle, and when heated to 100° — 
150° it becomes malleable, and is rolled into sheets. 
The specific gravity is 7.03, and the melting-point 
412°. It is quite volatile, burns with a green flame, 
and is one of the metals that expand on cooling. 

Next to iron, zinc is the cheapest of the useful 
metals, and, on account of this, has a number of 
uses. It is used in the galvanic battery. In this 
case, pure zinc would be very expensive to use, and 
it is not easily dissolved by acids. Impure amal- 
gamated zinc is cheaper, does just as well, and is 
readily dissolved in acids. Galvanized iron is iron 
coated with zinc to preserve the iron. If the zinc 
begins to rust, a galvanic couple is formed, the 
hydrogen collecting on the iron, thus preserving it. 
Zinc is alloyed with copper to form brass ; is used 
in making hydrogen, and is used in many places 
where iron and tin cannot be, on account of their 
rusting. Oxide of zinc, not being attacked by sul- 
phuretted hydrogen, is used in making white paint 
for laboratories. 

When the "Best Friend," which was the first 
locomotive used in the South and the first built in 
this country, was put on the track of the South 

Carolina Railroad, its performances excited great 
curiosity. For a time its driver did quite a profita- 
ble business carrying the curious, in small parties, a 
few miles out on the line from Charleston and 
return, for a consideration. 

An old schedule and freight tarift" of the South 
Carolina road, now in the possession of an oflicer of 
that company, provided, among other things, that 
no dogs should be admitted to cars without the con- 
sent of the passengers; that conductors must require 
all guns or pistols in the possession of passengers to 
be discharged before the persons carrying them 
should enter the cars, and that no package should 
be entered on the conductor's freight list for less 
than 6\'i cents. 

After the explosion of the boiler of the "Best 
Friend," through the stupidity of its negro fireman, 
who held the safety-valve down a little too long, to 
avoid the annoyance of escaping steam, a special 
platform car was placed between the engine and the 
first car of the train, and loaded with bales of cotton 
as a means of protecting the passengers. 

In the early days of the South Carolina Railroad, 
before the telegraph came to be the handmaid of the 
railway, and when hours of delay in the arrival of 
trains were of less importance than are minutes 
now, the good people of Charleston were notified of 
the approach of a train by a flag displayed from the 
steeple of the railway station. It was the duty of 
an employe to keep a lookout from this steeple, and the flag when he should catch the first glimpse 
of the smoke and steam of the locomotive. — Kailuay 

Ag.- ^^ 

Hydrogen Occluded in Steel. — The theory of 
Dr. Mueller concerning the character of the gas 
occluded in steel, has been confirmed in a striking 
manner. The inventors of the famous Mannesmann 
method of making steel tubes, by rolling them 
eccentrically from a solid bar, sent to the Charlotten- 
burg laboratory two tubes closed at both ends, a 
partly finished product, therefore. The steel con- 
tained 0.46 carbon, 0.26 silicon, o.ojj phosphorus, 
o.oi sulphur, 0.23 manganese, and a trace of copper. 
The hollow cavity contained 911 c. cm. of gas at a 
pressure of 760 mm. Chemical analysis showed 
that this gas was composed of 99 per cent, of hydro- 
gen and only i per cent, of nitrogen, confirming 
Mueller's theory that the gas occluded in steel cast- 
ings is hydrogen. 

Co.MPRESSED Air AS Motive Power in France. — 
The use of compressed air as a motive power for tram- 
ways in France is extending. The system adopted 
is that invented 'oy M. Mekarski, director of the 
Nantes tramways, which have been open since 1879. 
Two years ago the system was successfully applied 
on the tramways at Nogent, in the neighborhood of 
Paris, and more recently on those of Berne and 
Limoges. This year it will be substituted for horse 
power on the tramways of Lyons. The inventor 
asserts that his system is far more economical than 
horse traction, — the cost of coal per day of a machine 
equal to 8 or 10 horse power being only $1.00, — much 
cheaper than electricity or steam power, and that 
machinery is simple and does not require a skilled 
mechanic to control it. The British consul at 
Nantes, in a recent report, states "that the tram- 
ways of that town, which are worked by the system 
ofM. Mekarski, alluded to above, continue to give 
satisfaction. The cars are comfortable and lun 
smoothly with little noise. They do not interfere 
with the general traffic in the streets, and their im- 
munity from accidents is remarkable. The average 
speed is about eiglit miles per hour; but it can be 
easily increased or moderated, and in case of need 
an almost instantaneous stoppage eflfected." 

Tlie Out-Door CLlorld. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
[P. O. Address, Pittsfield, Mass.] 


About a year ago, Professor Gustavo Gut- 
tenberg, then teaching in the Erie (Penn.) 
High School, undertook to give an Agassiz 
Association course of lessons in mineralogy. 
His plan is simple, and modeled somewhat 
after the excellent course previously conducted 
for us by Professor W. O. Crosby, of the 
Boston Society of Natural History. The 
course is conducted bv correspondence. 

Each pupil receives a set of minerals in a 
neat case, together with test-tubes, litmus 
paper, and streak-plate. Accompanying this 
case is the first lesson, in the form of a 
pamphlet, containing necessary definitions 
and concise instructions for a series of obser- 
vations on the first twenty-five specimens, 
which are numbered, but not labeled. There 
are blanks, on which the pupil records the 
results of his work. When the first blank is 
properly filled, it is returned to Professor 
Guttenberg, who corrects it, makes needful 
suggestions, and returns it, together with 
labels for the specimens alreadv examined. 
For all this work he makes no charge, and 
for the case of minerals and instrtunents, and 
the printed pamphlets, he makes only the 
nominal charge of one dollar. He divides 
the whole work into four grades, two of 
which were issued up to last August. Pro- 
fessor Guttenberg then received an appoint- 
ment as professor of biology of the Central 
High School of Pittsburgh, Pcnn., and his 
removal to his new post has caused a little 
delay in the issue of the third grade. This 
will soon be ready, however, and may be had 
upon application to him. All members of 
the A. A., and all subscribers to the Popular 
Science News, are cordially invited to take 
up this course of lessons. One who begins 
it in complete ignorance of mineralogy, will 
be surprised to find himself easilj' led along 
to a familiarity with all the more common 
forms of rock and mineral, and brought to 
a stage of progress whence advancement to 
higher work in determinative anahsis will be 

easy and rapid. 


The organization of a Corresponding Geo- 
logical Chapter of the Agassiz Association — 
on a plan similar to the one so successfully 
carried out by the Gray Memorial Chapter — 
is now in progress. The undersigned organ- 
izing committee desires to brinjj this matter 
to the attention of every student and teacher 
of geology, mineralogy, and paleontology 
throughout the continent, whether a member 
of the A. A. or not. The object of the 
Chapter is to extend the knowledge of these 

Vol. XXIV. No. 2.] 


branches among its members, by circulating 
papers and notes on local geology and geo- 
logical phenomena, and by the exchange of 
specimens. The final organization will be 
effected February 20, and it is earnestly hoped 
that a goodly number of members will ha\e 
enlisted by that date. All interested are 
invited to correspond with Amadeus Grabau, 
(Secretary of Chapter 132), 154 Maple 
Street, Buffalo, N. Y., at their earliest con- 
venience. — Professor Franklin W. Barrows, 
George T. Wardwell, Amadeus Grabau, 

Organizing Committee. 



THE A. A. 

At a meeting of the New York City 
Assembly of the A. A., December 19, it 
was unanimously resolved, that, 

Whereas: Having been informed in a compre- 
hensive communication of our President's efforts to 
secure an oflScial organ for the \. A., and of his 
ultimate full measure of success; 

Resolved: That the Corresponding Secretary 
be instructed to inform the President of the A. A., 
officially, of our entire satisfaction with the maga- 
zines selected — the Popclar Science News, and 
the combined Santa Claus and Swiss Cross. 

Resolved: That this Assembly heartily wishes 
the undertaking and its projectors the thorough 
support and success which thev deserve. 

Resolved : That, inasmuch as this Assembly, 
bein;} a constituent body, can take no direct action 
in the matter, each Cliapter be requested to appoint 
one canvasser to secure as many subscribers as 
possible to one or both magazines. 

Theodore G. White, Cor. Sec. 

This action of the New York City Assem- 
bly is exceedingly gratifying. That Assembly 
was the only one of our larger bodies which 
happened to hold a meeting after the arrange- 
ments referred to had been completed, and 
before the issue of the first number of the 
magazines. It was, therefore, the only one 
to which special notice of our action was 
sent. There has not yet been time to hear 
from other Assemblies and Chapters since 
the issue of the first installment of " The 
Out-Door World." Indeed, at the date of 
this writing (December 30), on account of 
unavoidable delays, the January News is just 
off the press ; but, if the whole Association 
shall be equally hearty in endorsing the new 
departure, the future of the A. A. will be 
brijrhter than ever before. 

We hope to make the personal observations 
of our members a special feature of this de- 
partment, and to this end we solicit as prompt 
and full notes of such observations as possible 
from evervone interested. When convenient, 
let these notes be accompanied by pictures — 
photographs, India- ink drawings, or even 

pencil sketches. 

<♦» ■ 

We acknowledge reports of continued 

interest and activity from Chapters 55, 107, 

108, I20, 15S, 165, 199, 234, 2S7, 347, 354, members. They have studied the evergreens and 

the trees about Plainfield, and have just commenced 
the study of the roots of plants. Illness and 
removal of members have interfered with the work 
of the bird division, but there is great interest in the 
study of birds. All the early-comers have been 
noted, and the specimens in cases have been 
studied. — William Moore, Sec. 

362, 381, 399, 404, 414, 440, 444, 452, 478, 

4S1, 494, 513, 5S4, 603, 604, 624, 957, 965, 

and 972. 


jS, Philadelphia, Penn., [D].— I think the results 
of our work are very obvious. Two of us are doc- 
tors of medicine and a third is a student in medicine. 
The Chapter address is 1314 Franklin Street. — 
Joseph McFarland, M. D. 

923, Columbus, O., [C]. — During the past year 
we turned our attention entirely to the study of 
mineralogy. In this we were very kindly aided by 
Prof. Lord of the Ohio State University, who gave 
us a very interesting lecture on the subject. For the 
purpose of study, we bought a good collection of 
minerals, a large cabinet for specimens, and several 
good books. Besides the Chapter collection, indi- 
vidual members have made collections of minerals 
from the neighborhood, which abounds in sand- 
banks of glacial origin. Regular meetings were 
held every two weeks throughout the year. — S. C. 
Kershaw, Cor. Sec. 

977, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., [A]. — We have 
twelve members, and are getting on quite smoothly. 
Some are studying chemistry, using Cooley's text- 
book, and are making of diiferent dyes; 
some are studying botany, using Gray's book, and 
are working up the forest trees that grow in this 
vicinity; others are studying geology, with the help 
of Shaler's geology and Overman's mineralogy, and 
are learning the characteristics of rocks and the 
geological structure of this region. We all enjoy 
our work immensely. ^S. L. Bayard Schindel, Sec. 

824, Fall River, Mass., [B].— Our local Chapter 
and the Wilson Ornithological Chapter (213) have 
progressed so much since my annual report that I 
wish to write of them again. We have increased 
our membership, and have secured a room in the 
Y. M. C. A. building. We have had interesting 
debates, and papers of exceptional excellence have 
been read. The Ornithological Chapter has reached a 
membership of fifty-three. The plan of observation- 
work laid out for our members is succeeding finely, and 
we have on hand a large amount of valuable notes 
and lists. To illustrate our work, on December 3. 
iSSS, two ornithologists, Mr. Strong and Mr. Curtis, 
of Wisconsin, joined us. Through their efforts, we 
now have some Wisconsin members, organized into 
a committee, and studying the bird-life of their 
respective towns. — ^J. B. Richards, Pres. 

264, Plainfield, X. J., [A].— Chapter Xo. 264 (A) 
reorganized in Xovember in four divisions, for the 
study of insects, minerals, flowers, and birds. At 
the meetings of the insect division, the caterpillars 
found in the vicinity of Plainfield were studied. 
Specimens were brought to every meeting, and 
drawings were made and descriptions written of 
each kind. During the winter months, the mos- 
quito, earth-worm, fly, and ant were studied. Much 
interest has been shown in this division, and the 
members are waiting for the spring to continue 
the work. The meetings of the mineral division 
began in Xovember, and have been held in the 
science room, where the members had all the neces- 
sary apparatus for the blow-pipe and chemical tests 
of the minerals of Plainfield. The members have 
studied quartz, calcite, and copper with its numer- 
ous ores. A little study on the formation of rocks 
has also been taken. One excursion to an old cop- 
per mine was made in the autumn. The flower 
division has held regular meetings. There arc ten 

267, Pittsfield, Mass., [CJ. — While we were in 
Waterbury, Conn., last winter, we collected between 
400 and 500 good cocoons of those beautiful silk- 
moths, Saturnia spini and Atlas, also a larga num- 
ber of the Cecropia and Luna. In Great Barrington, 
Mass., in one day, we collected 75 specimens ol 
Grapia progue and about 50 of Vayiessa antiopa, 
besides some very fine Papilios, including Cres- 
phontes. We expect daily in exchange from Ger- 
many 300 lepidoptera and 500 coleoptera. — 
Theodore A. Schurr, Pres. 

353, Philadelphia, Penn., [K]. — During the past 
year we have held twenty-seven meetings, and have 
increased our membership to fifteen, seven having 
joined since our last report. At each meeting one 
of the members is appointed to prepare an essay for 
the next meeting, w hen it is read and discussed ; 
after this, if there are questions to be asked, they 
are in order. At every meeting we have the use of 
the microscope for examining objects that may 
interest us. — Theo. G. Brinton, Sec. 

365, Hyde Park, 111., [A]. — We have at present 
thirty-five members. Our President is Mr. Wm. L. 
Boyd. We have held meetings every two weeks 
during the year, and they have been much more 
interesting than hitherto. — Grace M. Lane, Sec. 

3S0, Elk Rapids, Mich., [A].— Xumber of meet- 
ings, twenty-one; number of members, seventeen. 
Studies : Geology, zoology, taxidermy. Topics of 
late discussions: "Carbon," "What Forms an Inland 
Beach," "Cause of Musical Sound along Telegraph 
Wires." — Frank Vandeburg, Pr«s. ; John Pfeiffer, 

382, Brooklyn, N. Y., [F].— Our work lastwinter 
was chiefly in analytical mineralogy, in connection 
with w hich we read and discussed a portion of Prof. 
Crosby's " Common Minerals and Rocks." During 
the summer the members visited various localities, 
and brought back notes of observations, also several 
additions to the collection, such as a fragment of 
rock from the Rocky Mountains, containing a num- 
ber oftrilobites of various sizes; lichens of various 
kinds, one weighing over seven and a half pounds; 
and a wasp's nest, eighteen inches in diameter. An 
interesting oak-gall, resembling white spun glass 
with rose-colored spots, was observed, and a praying 
mantis and leaf insect brought from Virginia. 
Photography has been of absorbing interest to sev- 
eral of our members, who have taken some credita- 
ble impressions. Several notes in the Swiss Cross 
concerning snakes hiding in their parent's open 
mouth, are indorsed by an observation made by one 
of our members near White Plains, N. Y., who 
killed a black snake, four feet long, and, after death, 
at least a dozen tiny snakes, three to four inches 
long, crawled out of its mouth and were very lively. 
We have received for our cabinet fine specimens ot 
labradorite and crocydolite, or tiger eye, a bottled 
flying-fish, and tropical sea-weed, also Alex. Agas- 
siz's "Expedition of the Blake." Our average 
attendance is seven ; membership, eight. — Henry 
S. FuUerton, Cor. Sec. 

387, Baltimore, Md., [E], Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity.— During the year we have had sixteen meet- 
ings, fairly well attended, and at one time our ranks 



[Fejsruaky, i8c,o. 

were greatly increased. We gained, as active mem- 
berg, J. Ames and S. Cone, and as honorar;^ 
members the following gentlemen, most of them 
professors in ths Johns Hopkins University : H. 
Newell Martin, Ira Remsen, Alfred M. Mayer, Wm. 
H. Howell, H. V. Wilson, F. H. Herrick, E. A. 
Andrews, and A. C. Gill. One of our members, 
Mr. R. G. Harrison, presented to us a very nice 
chest of drawers for minerals, and at another time 
we had a good-sized shelf-cabinet built for alcoholic 
specimens. The latter is now quite full. A short 
while ago we created a junior membership, our 
active membership being limited to persons 18 
years of age and excluding girls. The juniors will 
have all the privileges of the Chapter, but no voice 
in its government. In the first part of the year, 
Mr. Orr, a graduate student of the University, gave 
us a lecture and demonstration on hypnotism, 
which we opened to University men, and it proved 
of a great deal of interest. Dr. Geo. A. Williams, 
professor of geology here, gave us a delightful lec- 
ture on " How to Study Geology," and we derived 
a great deal of useful information. Our latest step 
was to raise the yearly subscription and initiation, 
each to three dollars, hoping that it will be of 
benefit. As the spring approaches we look forward 
to many dolightful days in the open air. — Edward 
McDowell, Pres., 117 W. Franklin Street; Charles 
S. Lewis, Sec, Box no, Johns Hopkins University. 

449, Fitchburg, Mass., [F]. — Our Chapter is in a 
"live" condition, and has done some systematic 
work in botany and entomology. We classify all 
our work, and keep full reports of what each mem- 
ber accomplishes. We should like to correspond 
with other Chapters. — G. F. Whittemore, Pres. 

507, Tonawanda, N. Y., [A]. — We have gained 
three members, and now have thirteen. We have 
held thirty-four meetings, and have given one suc- 
cessful public entertainment. Our President is Mr. 
J. O. Wilson. — Bettie Fisher, Sec. 

523, Madison, So. Dakota, [A].— We now have 
twenty-four active members. We meet every week, 
with good attendance. We appoint three or faur 
members to read papers at each meeting. Mr. 
Yoder gives us lessons in botany and zoology. We 
have made two expeditions — one to Lake Madison 
and one to Lake Herman. We have a case for 
minerals and about sixty specimens. We have also 
begun a collection of insects, and one of birds' eggs. 
We have opened one Indian mound, under Mr. 
Yoder"s direction, and obtained good specimens of 
beads, arrow-heads, etc. — G. Murray, Sec. 

565, Waseca, Wis., [A]. — Two of our members 
are taking Prof. Guttenberg's course in mineralogy. 
Another has gathered 150 sets of eggs. The Cas- 
pian tern was noted here last spring for the first 
time. — J. F. Murphy, Sec. 

577, Barton, Ross, England, [A]. — The subject 
at present taken up is entomology, and we are 
making collections of lepidoptera, coleoptera, and 
hymenoptera. The Chapter has the advantage 01 
owning a very good microscope. All the members 
beg to send their best wishes to the A. A., and 
to record their hearty appreciation of the good work 
it is doing. — Frances Maclean, Pres. 


25S. Flight of a Hum.mino-Bird. — May 17, in 
my garden, I saw a humming-bird describe several 
times the following curve : 

Many of the foregoing reports have been 
unavoidably delayed, and appear out of their 
regular order ; but they are too good to lose, 
and are much better late than never. Reports 
from the Third Century (Chapters 201-300) 
should reach the President by March 1 . 



At the lower part of the curve, I could not see 
him, for his swiftness, and he was then making a 
very loud humming noise. — G. H. Claybrooke, 
Santa Monica, Cal. 

[Written for "The Out.Door World."] 


Of the Agit»8iz Association. 

Running the share deeply into the earth, what is 
this that the ploughman has turned up, in this old- 
world garden, lying in the village of Bresselsleigh, 
which is quite in the heart of Merry England.' 
Something which, surely, our American eyes have 
never seen before. A queer creature, about two 
inches long, of a velvety-brown color, its body 
divided into three portions. After a closer look, we 
observe that its center is of a somewhat grayish 
tint. Two wings spring from the hinder part; each 
lengthens into a sort of fillet that stretches far 
beyond the short wing-covers, reaching, in fact, 
quite to the end of the body. 

But the most noticeable things of all about the 
stranger are its two wonderful fore-legs. These are 
enormously large and strong, far more so than its 
other legs, (which are themselves of no contempti- 
ble size), and gradually broaden at their ends into 
something resembling a hand, terminating in five 
short, strong fingers, — or, perhaps, claws may be 
a more nearly accurate name by which to call them. 
Of these claws, one is star-shaped. It must be that 
this is that curious creature, the English mole 
cricket, we think; and we do not wonder that it is 
so named, for the insect, while very like a cricket, 
also bears, in some respects, a close personal resem- 
blance to the mole. Especially is this true of these 
digging feet, which seem to be as distinctly out of 
proportion to the rest of its body, as would the 
brawny wrist and hand of a laboring man if it was 
seen protruding from the little dress-sleeve of a two- 
year-old child. But these stout, broad feet are 
almost precisely like those of a mole. 

The mole crickets live under ground, and seldom 
emerge into the open air; indeed, one may say they 
never do so, except at night and during fine, dry 
weather. With their strong fore-feet, with which 
they can work even more expeditiously than the 
mole, they dig for themselves burrows in the earth, 
fashioned into galleries leading from a central 
chamber, and communicating with the upper air by 
a small aperture. Although the little creature pre- 
fers to work in a soil composed of loose sand, and 
her tunnels are only about one-fourth of an inch in 
diameter, she manages to finish them very smoothly 
upon the inside. Her central chamber — which is 
not lar from the size of a couple of hazel-nuts, and 
used as a living and sleeping-room — is not designed 
to serve as a cool and shady residence during the 
warm weather alone. It is sunk deep enough down 
to be but slightly affected by any sudden change of 
temperature, and here our little friend retires when 
winter comes, and falls into that long, death-like 

sleep which is so common among insects, and is 
possible even to some among the higher organisms 
of our globe. 

In this cell she passes the greater part of her life 
quite alone, for mole crickets are not gregarious, or > 
even pairing, but are solitary creatures, each one 
setting up for him or herself a separate establish- 
ment, with chambers arid galleries all complete, and 
meeting with their kind only when they go out to 
take the air above ground. Even in these rare 
gatherings they do not seem to be a harmonious 
little people. The males often fight each other to 
the death, the conqueror celebrating the victory by 
eating up bodily all that is left of his vanquished 
foe. But. although cannibals upon occasion, and 
capable of subsisting for months even on animal 
food, the mole cricket is really a vegetable-eater. 
Its ordinary diet is the roots of plants, and in some 
places it becomes a true pest, through the damage 
it does to crops, and even grass and flowers, by 
feeding upon their roots. 

In the evenings and nights toward the end of 
spring and beginning of summer, the mole cricket 
sounds his love-making song. His chirp, which is 
somewhat softer in its shrillness and more musical 
than that of the domestic cricket, is supposed to be 
produced in precisely the same way, that is, by the 
friction of the wing-sheaths ; indeed, the sound has 
been made artificially by rubbing together those of 
a newly-killed insect. This song, which is truly a 
rather dull, jarring sort of music, has gained for the 
mole cricket a good many popular names. In some 
parts of England it is known as churr-worm, in 
others as jarr-worm, and again as eve-churr, and as 
croaker. For another of its names — that of earth- 
crab — it is indebted to the hard, shelly covering of 
its limbs and body. 

The female lays her eggs in the spring. They are 
about the size of a sugared caraway seed, and are in 
color of a grayish-yellow. Each insect lays from 
one hundred to four hundred. The mother builds 
a special chamber for their reception, which in size 
and shape is very much like a hen's egg longitudi- 
nally cut in Iialf. This apartment, while placed 
quite near the surface of the ground, that it may 
benefit by the warmth of the sun's rays, is most 
carefully guarded. It is entered by a complicated 
system of winding galleries that .surround it on all 
sidts. It is also strengthened by fortifications and 
entrenchments, while circling the whole is a ditch 
of such size that few insects are capable of passing it. 

The mother is devoted in her care of her young. 
There is a species of black beetle which is one of 
her most dreaded and dangerous enemies, and 
which often succeeds in destroying her little ones in 
great numbers. She watches this creature with the 
greatest care, placing herself near the entrance of 
her nest, and when the beetle has fairly got inside 
it, this cunning guardian jumps upon it from behind, 
seizes it, and fairly bites it in two. The young 
ones live together for a considerable time, under 
their mother's care in the home which she has pre- 
pared for them. They are very active little creatures, 
in both the larva and pupa states, running about in 
all directions. • 

The mole cricket is always exquisitely neat and 
clean in its own person, both to the eye and touch, 
notwithstanding its earthy abode and its continuous 
labors in the way of burrowing in th. soil to the end 
of building and fortifying its dwellings and nur- 
reries. The cause of its exemption from impurity 
lies in a fine down that covers its skin, and, while 
adding to its beauty by giving it a soft, velvet-like 
texture, also eflectively prevents the adhesion to it 
of the earth in which the little creature spends so . 
great a part of its life in w orking. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 




Slje Popular Science I^ews. 



.... SiHtor. 
Attodate Editor. 

The principal object of scientific — and pop- 
ular — interest the past month has been the so- 
called Russian influenza, or "la grippe," 
which has overspread a large portion of the 
country, and numbered its victims by the 
thousands if not millions. There is really no 
explanation to be given of this remarkable 
epidemic, and the symptoms and general 
details of an attack are doubtless sadly familiar 
to most of our readers. There is some rea- 
son to doubt whether the present epidemic is 
really the true European disease, or a native 
production occurring coincidently with it. 
The first cases reported in this country, 
occurred almost simultaneously with the 
European ones, and it seems impossible that 
the infection could have crossed the ocean in 
so short a time. The first cases in this city 
occurred in the county jail — perhaps the most 
unlikely place in the whole city for an im- 
ported epidemic to make its first appearance. 
It is also stated that the United States war- 
ships encountered it in mid-ocean on their 
way to Europe, and that their crews were 
aflTected by it. We are afraid, however, that 
this entertaining yarn was spun for the benefit 
of the "marines." Whatever its source, the 
mild and harmless type of the disease is a 
matter for thankfulness, and, in spite of the 
persistent and reprehensible sensationalism of 
the daily press in regard to the matter, seri- 
ous or dangerous cases have been extremely 

The phenomenal weather of the present 
season is amply sufficient to account for the 
epidemic, even if a similar disease had not 
appeared in Europe. Up to the time of writ- 
ing (Jaiuiary 15th) there has been neither ice, 
snow, nor frost of any consequence, and the 
weather of last winter has been exactly re- 
peated. Two such unusually mild winters 
occuring consecutively, have never been 
recorded before, and the etfect of the unsea- 
sonable warmth must be very injurious to the 
public health, not to mention the possibility 
of a total failure of the ice-crop, the harvest- 
ing of which is such an important New 
England industrv. 

The cause of this unusual mild weather is 
hard to explain. Of course the direct csiuse 
is the prevalence of warm southwesterly 
winds, and the absence of the cold northwest- 
erly gales which usually blow during the 
winter months ; but what determines the pre- 
valence of one wind over another is at present 
outside the limit of our knowledge. The 
story has gone the rounds of the press that 

the Gulf Stream has been deflected from its 
course and approached nearer to our coasts, 
but such a deflection would have but very 
little effect upon the climate of the sea-board, 
and none at all upon that of the interior of the 
country. Both our warm and cold winds 
blow towards the ocean, and not from it. 
Besides, it is not true that the Gulf Stream has 
changed its course, and no observations have 
been made which would indicate that it is flow- 
ing in any other than its usual direction. We 
have heard this Gulf Stream theory advanced 
to explain unusually warm weather for the 
last twenty years, and never with any more 
basis of fact than at the present time. There 
is not the slightest reason to believe that any 
permanent change of climate is taking place, 
and the average temperature for any long 
period of years always remains about the 

M. MoissAN, who isolated the element 
fluorine a few years ago, has succeeded in 
forming an anhydrous platinum bi-fluoride 
(Pt Flj), by passing a current of fluorine gas 
over a bundle of platinum wires heated to 
dull redness in a tube of fluor-spar. At a 
bright red heat the compound is decomposed, 
and the reaction gives a comparatively easy 
method of obtaining fluorine. Very curiously, 
a dilute solution of platinum bi-fluoride in 
water may be kept for a few iniiuites with- 
out decomposition. Soon, however, it breaks 
up into hydrated platinic oxide, and hydro- 
fluoric acid. An analogous compound of 
fluorine and gold has also been obtained. 

Professor Simon, of Johns Hopkins 
University, has been investigating the peculiar 
power possessed by a young boy in Baltimore,' 
of causing heavy objects to adhere to his 
fingers, when closely pressed upon them. 
The nature of the substance is of no conse- 
quence, but the adhesive power is greatest 
when they possess a clean, dry, and smooth 
surface. For this reason, the best results are 
obtained with glass and polished metals. A 
maximum weight of about five pounds has 
been lifted in this mysterious manner. The 
adhesive power is quite variable and uncertain 
in its action, and a careful microscopical 
examination of the boy's fingers shows no 
unusual or abnormal structure of the skin. 
Professor Simon, while admitting his inability 
to fully explain the phenomena, which he 
describes at length in a recent number of 
Science, considers that they are due prin- 
cipally to atmospheric pressure, and notes 
several circumstances connected with their 
manifestations which tend to confirm that 
theory of their cause. 

It has recently been discovered that sulphate 
of quinine possesses the power of rendering 
light non-actinic, and that a plate of white 
ground glass, which has been covered with a 

strong solution and allowed to dry, may be 
used in the photographic lantern instead of 
that of the ordinary ruby color. We have 
recently seen a bromide print developed by 
the non-actinic white light produced in this 
manner, which was perfect in every way and 
did not show the slightest trace of fogging. 
If future trials show the method to be a practi- 
cal one, the use of red light in photography 
will become a thing of the past. We shall be 
glad to hear from any of our readers who 
may make a trial of this peculiar property of 
the hitherto exclusively medicinal alkaloid. 


Some genius out in Indiana announces that 
he has discovered a process of condensing and 
solidifying natural gas, so that it can be 
handled like coal, and that with the aid of a 
ten-horse-power engine he can reduce enough 
gas in one day to supply a city of fifty thous- 
and inhabitants with fuel for twenty-four 
hours. The readers of the Science News 
will hardly need to be reminded that this is 
an impossible achievement. The composition 
of natural gas is perfectly well known, and 
although it is possible by expensive and com- 
plicated apparatus to temporarily liquefy a 
a few grains of any gas, yet the process costs 
many thousand times its fuel-value, to say 
nothing of the fact that as soon as the exces- 
sive pressure and cold employed in the pro- 
cess are removed, the gas returns at once to 
its normal condition. The supply of scientific 
humbugs is unceasing, and vve often wonder 
what will be the next manifestation in that 

Some experiments recently made by Mr. 
Baynes Thomson, upon the deviation of a 
pendulum when brougiit near to another 
body, lead him to believe that the generally- 
accepted theory of a mutual attraction of 
gravitation between all masses of matter is 
incorrect, and that the tendency of bodies to 
approach each other must be explained on 
other grounds than that of an inherent attractive 
property. He suggests that the position of 
two bodies in relation to each other is the 
determining fiictor, in that they screen each 
other from the bombardment of the molecules 
of the ether. This revolutionary theory is 
hardly to be accepted without further evidence. 
An inherent attractive force in matter is not a 
very satisfactory hypothesis to account for the 
phenomena of gravitation, but it is certainly 
more rational than an assumel bombardment 
of the supposed molecules of a hypothetical 
ether, the actual existence of which has never 
been proved. 

There is much true wisdom and scientific 
observation embodied in many popular 
beliefs and sayings, even when the logical con- 
nections between the premises and conclu- 



[February, 1890. 

sions is not at first sight evident. For 
instance, it was believed for many years that 
the presence of barberry-bushes in the neigh- 
borhood of a wheat-field had an unfavorable 
effect upon the crop. This was always con- 
sidered an agricultural superstition until it 
was found, that, in one stage of its existence, 
a fungus very destructive to wheat, takes up 
its lodgment on the barberry-bush, forming 
the curious growth known as the "cluster- 

Sayings in regard to the weather are very 
abundant, and, although in many cases, such 
as the alleged influence of the moon, they 
have no basis in fact, in others they are really 
dependent upon well-known meteorological 
laws. Many of the "weather proverbs" have 
descended to us from our English ancestors, 
and are not applicable to the climatic condi- 
tions of the western world. Among these 
are the dread of east winds, which in England 
are cold, dry winds, blowing from the large 
areas of land lying to the east, forming 
the countries of Russia and Siberia, while 
with us the east wind is a moist sea breeze, 
and rarely or never has a temperature much 
below the freezing-point. 

A very reliable sign of stormy weather is 
when the sun rises clear and shortly goes into 
a cloud. This indicates the presence of rap- 
idlv condensing moisture in the atmosphere, 
which is likely to soon fall as rain. A lurid 
color of the sky at sunrise, halos around the 
sun and moon, "a rainbow in the morning," 
and the "sun drawing water" are due to the 
same cause, and are all omens of stormy 

The belief that if "it clears off in the night" 
the fair weather will not continue, has, appar- 
ently, no basis in fact, and as far as our obser- 
vations go is by no means correct. Fair 
weather seems to be as likely to come at one 
period of the twenty-four hours as another. 

Sailors say that if a storm clears with the 
wind "backing round" to the north, another 
storm will immediately follow. This can 
be probably explained by the fact that when 
the center of a cyclone or rotary storm passes 
over any point, there is a temporarv calm, 
after which the wind commences to blow 
from the opposite direction. This sign, how- 
ever, like manj' others, is by no means infal- 

When the water in the tea-kettle boils away 
rapidly a storm is said to be near at hand. It is 
true that the low atmospheric pressure preced- 
ing a storm would slightly lower the boiling- 
point of water, but we do not believe that the 
effect would be appreciable. It seems more 
likely that in this case the common belief is: 
founded more upon theoretical than practical 

The saying that "a green Christmas makes 
a fat churchyard" is a popular recognition of 
the unhealthfulness of a warm, open winter. 
Unseasonable weather of any sort has an 

unfavorable efiect upon the system, and the 
ennervating effect of a high temperature in 
winter, when the usual cold, bracing weather 
is to be expected, is very marked. 

On Candlemas day (February 2) the wood- 
chuck is said to come out of his hole and 
look around to see if his body casts a shadow. 
If it does, he goes back for a longer sleep, but 
if the sky is clouded he knows that winter is 
over, and does not return to his former quar- 
ters. We are afraid that in New England 
the woodchuck must very often consider him- 
self a victim of misplaced confidence, but 
the belief may have arisen from certain 
weather observations, showing that clear and 
cold weather about that date was likely to 
continue, and that storm and rain indicated 
a more or less early breaking up of winter. 

As to the January thaw, the Indian sum- 
mer, the equinoctial storm, and the dog-days, 
they have no existence whatever as definite 
meteorological phenomena. One might as 
well speak of i/ie January snow-storm, as to 
consider any particular period of mild 
weather in that month a special and regular 
occurrence. These periods of hot, cold, or 
stormy weather, may occur at any time within 
their appropriate seasons, but do not recur in 
successive years with any regularity what- 
ever, and they can only be foretold on the 
principle of the old-fasiiioned almanacs, 
whose predictions of a — storm — may — be — 
expected — about — this — time, extended over 
an entire month. 

As to the influence of the changes of the 
moon, the spots on the sun, the markings of 
the breast-bone of a goose, and many other 
similar signs and wonders, upon the changes 
of the weather, or other terrestrial phenom- 
ena, they must be considered as superstitions 
pure aiul simple, without any basis whatever, 
either in scientific theory or actual fact. It is 
remarkable how much faith ordinarily intelli- 
gent people will place on these signs, which 
every day experience shows to be utterly un- 
reliable, and it can only be accounted for by 
the fact that the failures are quickly forgotten, 
while the occasional coincidences are care- 
fully remembered and handed down to suc- 
ceeding generations. The natural forces and 
laws governing the weather are entirely irreg- 
ular in their action, and there is no possible 
way in which the state of the weather can be 
predicted for more than forty-eight hours in 
advance, and even for that length of time the 
conspicuous failures of the government "in- 
dications" show how little is really known 
about the matter and how suddenly the con- 
ditions governing meteorological phenomena 
may change the manner of their manifestation. 

the front, it presented no unusual appearance, 
but, when placed before a large mirror, the 
reflection from the back of the statue showed 
the image of Marguerite's lover, Faust, 
standing, apparently, just behind her. 

This remarkable effect was obtained by 
ingeniously carving the features and figure of 
Faust in the back of the original statue. The 
face was formed by the hair of the statue, and 
the same arms answered for both figures, in 
one case being held in front, and in the other 

crossed behind the back. The folds of the 
robe of Marguerite at the back were modelled 
so as to form the figure of I'''aust, and it is to 
be noted that the illusion was only perfect 
when viewed in a mirror. If the back of the 
statue was observed directly, the secondary 
figure was not so evident. The statue is a 
most remarkable example of the sculptor's 
art, and indicates an unusual amount of artis- 
tic and mechanical talent. 

Among the curiosities at the Paris Exposi- 
tion was a statue representing the legendary 
German heroine Marguerite. Viewed from 

[Speciiil Correspondence oi Popular Scifwe Ncws.\ 

Scientific travellers are the lions of the day, and 
much interest is exhibited in the results of the vari- 
ous expeditions conducted in the heart of the black 
continent by different. travellers. Stanley brings us 
the results of three gears' experience, and, although 
he has been enabled to accomplish his journey 
under the most favorable circumstances and with 
the best equipment which could be provided, he 
still deserves much credit for his courage. When, 
however, he speaks of continuing Livingstone's 
work in Africa, he excites some wonder among 
those who know the moral character of the great 
pioneer of civilization in Africa, and have been able 
to see how very much the temper of both men are 
dissemblant. Unfortunate Camille Uouls, a verv 
young African explorer, has just met with his end. 
Captain Binger has just returned from his excursion 
on the Niger, and brings back many important 
facts; on the other hand. Captain Trivier, a jour- 
nalist and traveller, has, alone, and without any 
army of men and luggage, achieved a very hand- 
some feat, crossing Africa from west to east in 
less than a year, from Congo State to Mozambique, 
after crossing the lake region, which he found to be 

Vol. XXIV. No. 2.] 



much agitated in consequence of Stanley's recent 
passage with liis army. All these travellers will 
surely, Fmin Pasha being the most prominent, give 
us a large amount of information concerning the 
numerous terras incognitas of the old African conti- 
nent. All Europe is looking to this part of the 
world, and most nations are struggling to secure 
the largest and best part of the cake. Concerning 
the •' cake," we must remind our readers that a very 
successful African explorer. Captain Victor Girand 
of the French navy, has just published a book 
which is full of information as to the lake region of 
Africa. He visited the lakes in 1883-1885, and has 
summed up his experiences in a very interesting 
work, where information and adventure are mixed 
in a very palatable manner, and filled with very 
good engravings. M. Girand's (Les Lacsde I'Afrique 
Equatoriole, Hachette) meets with a large success, 
in consequence of the interest which belongs to all 
works pertaining to Africa. Concerning travels, 
we have two good works ; the one by A. Mellion, 
on the Deserts of Mongolia, Arabia, Africa, and 
South America (/,e />sert),and the other by Capus, 
on the Pamir region (/,« toU du Monde.) I merely 
mention these books, both of which are very valu- 
able to geographic and general readers. 

.\n interesting experiment has been made in 
Paris during the exhibition. It is known that a 
special pavilion was devoted to ostreiculture and 
pisciculture, and that a large number of marine 
animals were kept in life during the exhibition, not- 
withstanding the temperature. In 1878, the same 
thing had been done, but the expenses for sea-water 
brought by rail from the Channel, were enormous: 
they reached some ten thousand dollars, and in 
1S89 it was decided that unless some cheaper process 
could be invented, the marine exhibition should not 
be attempted. So experiments were maile to con- 
coct an arlifical sea-water, and they met with full 
success. The water was made as follows: In 3000 
litres of river-water, were dissolved 79 kilogrammes 
of chloride of sodium, 11 of chloride of magnesium, 
3 of chloride of potassium, 5 of sulphate of magne- 
sium, and 2 of sulphate of calcium, — sum total, 100 
kilogrammes of the different salts for 3cxx) litres of 
water. The whole expense did not exceed four 
hundred dollars, and the result was quite as satis- 
factory as if real sea-water had been used. 

The agricultural exhibit of the United States 
attracted a great deal of attention from the part of 
specialists here, and many were most enthusiastic 
over it. Among these persons, and among those 
who are most competent and well fitted for 
delivering a competent opinion, is M. Grandeau, 
whose name is certainly well known to the United 
States agricultural delegates. M. Grandeau, in his 
recently published fourth volume of the Etudea Ay- 
rononiiijues, which he regularly issues at this time 
of the year, devotes the largest part of his book to 
the agricultural exhibitions of the United States and 
of the other countries, and the American agricul- 
turists will certainly have much pleasure in reading 
M. Grandeau's papers and comments, and will de- 
rive therefrom much benefit. Being well read on 
foreign agriculture, M. Grandeau already perceives 
how much remains to be done in France to secure 
better crops, and how much must be done to teach 
the agriculturists, especially the small farmers, that 
their ways are erroneous and must be altered in 
conformity to the discoveries of science. M. Gran- 
deau has done a great deal in this useful line, and is 
now begining a series of publications on the matter; 
cheap and clearly written papers, untechnical, and 
easy of comprehension for the average, and rather 
dull brain of the small farmer and peasant. The 
I'etite Encyclopidie Agricole meets a positive demand. 
During the latter part of December, Paris, as well 

as the remainder of France and a greater part ' of the needle. The wind freshened after dark, and 
of Europe, has been visited by an epidemic of , by midnight was blowing a hurricane from the S. S. 
generally mild character, a sort of influenza, which ; E., which lasted for several hourf , the wind hauling 
spread everywhere and upon almost everybody. In from the S. S. E. to the N. W. through the W. 
some cases the disease has been fatal, when it came The squalls were fierce and incessant, striking the 
upon persons of weak disposition; in some cases it water with such fury that the whole surface of the 
has assumed a very marked malignant character, , ocean seemed to be lifted up and flung on to the 

killing generally through pneumonia. Is there 
some microbe underlying the disease? It seems 
likely enough, judging from the symptoms and ex- 
tension of the disease. At all events, the spreading 

land in clouds of spray. Houses shook, windows 
and doors were blown in, trees and plants uprooted 
and broken, and leaves torn off or left hanging in 
ribbons; and, as no rain fell to wash" away the salt. 

of the influenza — if it really is influenza — has been i every green thing was burned or scorched, and the 

much favored by the mild and unhealthy tempera- 
ture at the end of the year, which has followed the 
brisk frosts of the end of November. 

Concerning microbes, I wish to say a word of an 
interesting experiment recently conducted by M. 
Charrin. This distinguished young bacteriologist 
has shown that if blood serum of a normal animal 

whole island on the nth looked as if a fierce fire had 
swept over it in the night. 

The above account of this storm, which occurred 
at nearly the same date with similar ones all around 
the globe, was given me by Miss Alice Dabney, of 
Fayal, who witnessed it all. Rgaching Fayal Oct. 
1st, it has been exceedingly interesting to observe 

and of a vaccinated animal be used for the purpose | the results of the violent defoliation of vegetation 

of cultivating the bacillus of the disease (pyocyanic 
disease in M. Charrin's experiments) a very marked 
difference is noticed in the behavior of the two cul- 
tures. In the serum of the vaccinated animal, the 

by the salt spray. After a brief rest, most of the 
plants seemed to recover from their surprise, and 
began to push new leaves ; but they seemed unable 
to stop there, for many, forgetting it was winter. 

development of the bacillus is much more difficult went on to develop new shoots and flowers, and soon 

and slow than in the serum of the non-vaccinated 
animal. It therefore seems that vaccination exerts 
some direct influence on the blood and renders it 
unfavorable to the life and growth of the bacillus. 
This fact is a very important one, and one may 
expect that the chemical study of the serum may fur- 
nish some facts which will help to account for the 
mechanism of immunity. 

Zoologists will be much interested in learning 
that the scientific results of the campaign of Prince 
Albert of Monaco are now being published in a 
series of very handsomely printed large quarto vol- 
umes. The Prince, it is known, has been for the 
past year engaged in the study of oceanic currents in 
the Northern Atlantic, and of the marine fauna of 
this part of the world. The results now obtained 
are numerous enough, and the publication is a 
timely one. The Prince is to prosecute his re- 
searches, and a steam yacht is being built for this 

Anatomical work seems to meet with much favor 
in France. Two important German treatises have 
recently been translated in French : Gegenbauer's 
Human Anatomy, and Krause's Human Anatomy. 
A third work is now being published on the subject 
by a Frenchman, Prof Debierre, of Lille. 

Prof Deslougchamps, a well known geologist of 
Caen, died a few days ago. The teaching of geology 
is going to be somewhat changed in the course of 
the next few years, as many aged professors are to 
retire and be replaced by younger men. The result 
will not prove unfavorable to science generally, 
as many of the present professors are too old to give 
much of their time to orginal work, and live on 
their past reputation. H. 

Paris, Dec. 24, 1889. 


[Oriuiual in Popular Science Xewjt.] 


On the night of September lo-ii a severe cyclone 
•truck Fayal and the other islands belonging to the 

' central part of the Azorian group. The weather on 

: the loth had been unsettled, showery, and cloudy, 
but there was no indication of the approaching 
storm, beyond the falling of the barometer. The 
mercury continued to fall steadily throughout the 

I day, and, as night set in, it fell very rapidly — in an 
hour and a half dropping 30-100, finally reaching 

i 29.19°, >>hen several persons noticed the quivering 

set fruit. The new- leaves seemed normal in shape 
and texture, but pale and small, frequently only in 
tufts at the ends of the branches. The blossoms — 
which, added to the usual blooms of the season, 
made the gardens very delightful — were often re- 
markably fine and numerous, but seemed to lack 
substance, fading soon when gathered nnd dropping 
early without setting fruit, although bees, butter- 
flies, and moths seemed numerous enough for those 
needing aid in fertilization. But while this was 
true of individual blossoms, the process seemed so 
hampered by the unprepared state of the plants, that 
new blossoms have continued to struggle along for 
sixty days. Notable examples of this have been the 
judas-tree, peach, apple, grape, eucalyptus, and 
paulownia. Should anyone desire further details, I 
shall be happy to furnish them on application. 
Fayal, Azores, Nov. 30, 1S89. 

[SpcciiiUy Observed for rnpular Science Xtwit.] 




-M 7 A. M 32.SI' 

At a I'. M 4' .8;" 

At 9 p. M 35.74* 

Whole Month .... 36.81* 

Lowest, I Highest. Range. 


Last 19 Decembers 


S 21. i9* 

j in 1S76. 

in iS8o. 

Year iSSy S0.4.*' 

Last ly Years .... 47.66* j 

i-H \ 89* 

j 45-15 
i in 1S75. 

in 1SS9. 




5 ■2;' 

The present December has been a remarkable 
month, being the warmest on my record for the last 
nineteen years; and the year, also, has been a 
remarkable year, being the warmest during the 
same period, as shown in the above table. The 
lowest point reached by the mercury the last month 
was lo*^ ajjove zero, on the 4th, and this was also 
the coldest day, with an average of 14°. The 14th 
and 15th were the next coldest, each averaging 22°. 
The highest point reached was 6i", on Christmas 
day, making an unusually warm Christmas, with an 
average of 51-33°. The 9th was the warmest day of 
the month, averaging 53°. Eight days toward the 
close of the month — 19th to 26th — averaged 42.33°, 
ranging from 30° to 61°, and fell below the freezing- 
point but twice, at the hours of observation, — and 
this approaching mid-winter I The entire month 



[February, 1890. 


was 7.84° above the average in the last nineteen | 
Decembers, and only 1.77° below the average of 
November, while the average difference between 
these two months is 951°. Five Novembers in 
nineteen vears have been colder than the present 

The temperature of the entire year was 2.76° 
above the average of the last nineteen years, which 
is an excess equivalent to 1007. 4*^ during the year. 
The lowest point reached during the last year was 
— 2°, February 24th, and the highest 89°, May loth. 
The lowest point in nineteen years was — 20°, Janu- 
ary 30th, 1873, and the highest 95'-', July 4th, 1S73, — 
a range of uj°. The lowest yearly range was 84°, 
in 1S77, and the highest 113'^, in 1873. 


The face of the sliy the last month, in 93 observa- 
tions, gave 50 fair, 16 cloudy, iS overcast, 6 rainy, 
and 3 snowy, — a percentage of 53.8 fair, while the 
average fair in nineteen Decembers has been just 
50, with extremes of 40.9 in 1887, and 75 3 in 1877. 
Only two Decembers have been moro fair than the 
present, though several have been nearly the same. 
The mornings of the nth and 19th were noted 
foggy. The last half of the month was generally 
fine and warm — more like autumn or spring than 
winter. "What remarkable weather for the sea- 
son," was a frequent observation. On the morning 
of the 27th, at about 3 o'clock, a beautiful aurora 
was noticed in the northeast, resembling, however, 
more the break of day than the ordinary northern 
lights, as it was a steady light, destitute of stream- 
ers, extending four or five points in the horizon, 
and rising 25° to 30° upward, and gradually shading 
off into the blue sky. It continued for an hour or 

It will be seen by the table below tliat the entire 
year has been less fair, and, con.sequently, more 
cloudy, than usual, and that this cloudiness extended 
through the year, except the three winter months. 
Two of these months — January and December- 
were remarkably warm, and nearly destitute of 


The amount of precipitation the past month, 
including about 5 inches of snow melted, was 2.97 
inches, wliile the average amount during the last 
twenty-one Decembers has been 3.96, with extremes 
of 73 in 1875, and 7. 89 in 18S4. The precipitation 
came in small quantities, principally on nine differ- 
ent days, well distributed. The first snow of the 
season fell on the 3d — only about half an inch. On 
the 14th about 4'!! inches f.-U, giving two days of 
very imperfect sleighing. On the i8th the snow 
had entirely disappeared, and so continues until the 
present. The ground has much of the time been so 
free from frost, that plowing and other farm work 
need not be hindered. 

Th^ amount of precipitation the last year has 
been 57 32 inches, while the average yearly amount 
for twenty-one years has been 47.11, with the 
remarkable extremes of only 32.26 inches in 1883, 
and 64 40 in 1888, — a range of 32.14 inches. The 
amount of the present year has been exceeded but 
twice in twenty-one years — in 1878 and 1888. The 
amount of snowfall the past year has been remark- 
ably small, only 17V2 inches, and this fell entirely 
on the first three and last months of the year. 


The average pressure the last month was 30.068 
inches, with extremes of 29.30 on the 26th, and 
30.75 on the 31st, — a range of 1.45 inches. The 
average for the last sixteen Decembers has been 
29.959 inches, with extremes of 29 804 in 1876, and 
30.073 in 1879, — a range of .269 inch. The sum of 
the daily variations was 8.86 inches, giving an 

average daily movement of .286 inch, while this 
average the last sixteen Decembers has been .263, 
with extrenies of .190 and .329. The largest daily 
movements w-ere .53 on the 25th, and .52 on the 
nth, downward, and .50 on the 27th and 30th, 
upward ; on four other days the movements were 
.42 to .46, showing large barometric waves. The 
month closed with a very high barometer, 30 75, the 
highest point, with one exception, in sixteen years. 
December i, 1887, it reached 3080. The lowest 
point rtached during this period was 28. 70, in 
November, 1873, — a range of 2.10 inches. The 
mercury has fallen below 29 inehes but five times in 
sixteen years. 

The average yearly pressure in sixteen years has 
been 29 948 inches, with extremes of 29.891 in 1880, 
and 29.993 in 1883, — a range of .102 inch. The 
average daily movement in the sixteen years has 
been .184 inch, with extremes of .158 in 1877, and 
.2n in 1887. 


Direction of the Winds, com- 
bined from 8 Points. 


'—■ V- '-^ 'O ""«- '^ "tT 'ov ">o "« "n '•»■ 
^ \n xn '» Nin— ^— f^vj 
'10 %. % ":? 00 t^ V V) So V- w^ % 

. 1 



Hi's K!S>!S?"5~S-S^3:^S- 
°5 V ft °i- ■'■ "8 "S" 1:? "'^ r V "2- 




+ +|-|-|-f--f-l--f -f-l- 








a ' 





+ 1 1 l-l-l-t--f-l-l-fl 




00 P» ^«JfO(<! dv^"^roiO« 



q q\q»o- "^m^*:^ «*-o«5 

+ + \ 1 iTTiTTT-i- 



q i;.q\D\q « ^'^", C)\«oo 

t^d rJ)ir)— ' fi — ^ — J N ^ 



<4-r>.— — "(}-c5 — (^M^d -^ 








Ji, -j:. S < s S. ^ <: rf, y. a 

The direction of the wind, in 93 observations, the 
last month gave 14 N., o S., 4 E., 28 W., 8 N. E., 
25 N. W., 2 S. E., and 12 S. W., — an excess of 33 
northerly and 51 westerly over the southerly and 
easterly, and indicating the average direction to 
have been W. 32° 54' N. The westerly winds in 
December have uniformly prevailed over the east- 
erly for the last twenty years, by an average of 
54.95 observations, and the northerly over the 

southerly, with two exceptions, by an average of 
19 40, — thus indicating the approximate general 
average of December to be W. 19° 27' N., and show- 
ing the direction of the past month to have been 
13° 27' more northerly than usual. The relative 
progressive distance travelled by the wind the past 
month was 60.74 units, and during the last twenty 
Decembers 1,166 such units, an average of 58.30, — 
showing less opposing winds than usual for De- 

The direction of the wind, observed three times 
daily for twenty years, five being leap years, has 
required 21,915 observations, distributed as follows: 
2,599 N., 1,606 S., 1,867 E., 5,192 W., 1,716 N.E., 
4,073 N. W., 722 S. E., and 4,140 S. W.,— giving an 
excess of 1,920 northerly and 9,100 westerly over the 
southerly an"d easterly, and indicating, approxi- 
mately, the grand average direction of all the 
months for twenty years to have been W. 11° 55' N., 
or almost exactly one point N., or, as sailors would 
say, " W. by N." 

The accompanying table is worthy of careful ex- 
amination, as it contains the combined results of 
over 75,000 observations, carefully computed and 
clearly arranged. These observations have become 
so numerous that the averages now secured give 
quite a reliable standard of the weather for this 
locality, in regard to the five aspects observed. The 
unusual high temperature for the last year, e. g., 
raised the general average only sixteen hundredths 
of a degree. So in regard to the other divisions. 
The table is sufficiently clear without further expla- 
nation. D. W. 

Natick, Jan. 8, 1S90. 

[Specially Computed for Populxr Sctetice A'««w.] 

MiiRruRY is a morning star throughout ihe 
month, and is far enough away from the sun to be 
seen during most of the latter half of the month. 
It attains greatest western elongation on February 
23, and is then nearly 27° west of the sun; but, as it 
is at the same time nearly 10° south, it rises only 
about an hour and a quarter before the sun. Venus 
passes superior conjunction with the sun on Febru- 
ary 18, and changes from a morning to an evening 
star. It will remain an evening star for a little 
more than nine months, or until December 3, when 
it passes inferior conjunction and becomes a morn- 
ing star. During the month it will be too near the 
sun to be easily seen, and at the end will be only 3° 
distaht. Mars is getting into better position for 
observation. It is in quadrature w-ith the sun on 
February 9, and rises a little before i A. M. on Feb- 
ruary I, and just after midnight on February 28. It 
is moving eastward in the constellations Libra and 
Scorpio, and at the end of the month is only about 
2° west of .Ssto Scorpii. This distance will be still 
smaller in March, as the planet passes within 8' 
of the star. The actual distance in miles of the 
planet from the earth is rapidly diminishing. On 
February i it is I34,ooo,oo»; on February 28 it is 
109,000,000. At its nearest approach (on June 4) 
the distance will be about 48,000,000 — only about 
one-third of what it is on Februarv i. Tupiter is 
now a morning star, and rises about an hour before 
the sun on February i and about an hour and three- 
quarters before on February 28. It is moving east- 
ward from the constellation Sagittarius into Capri- 
corn. Saturn is in the constellation Leo, and is in 
good position for observation. It is in opposition 
with the sun on February 18, and rises at 6h. 33m. 
P. M. on February i. At the end of the month it 
rises before sunset. During the month it moves 
westward about 2° toward the first magsitude star 
Regulus {Alpha Leonis), and at the end of the 

Vol. XXIV. No. 2.] 



month is about 2^ east of the star. Uranus is in the 
constellation Virgo, and is moving slowly westward. 
Neptune is in the constellation Taurus, and is in 
quadrature with the sun on the morning of Feb- 
ruary 20. 

Tin Consiellations. — The poiitiont given are for 
lo P. M. February 1,9?. M. February 15, and 8 P. 
M. Feb. 28. Gemini is near the zenith, the princi- 
pal stars, Castor and Pollux, being a little south and 
east. Canis Minor, with the first magnitude star 
Procyon, it on the meridian to the south ; and 
below that is Canis Major, with Sirius, the brightest 
of the fixed stars. Cancer is just east of Gemini, 
and Leo is about halfway from the eastern horizon 
to the zenith, while Virgo is just rising in the east. 
Ursa Major is high up in the northeast, and Bootes 
i» below it on the horizon. Ursa Minor and Draco 
lie principally to the east and below the pole star. 
Cassiopeia is in the northwest, about the same alti- 
tude as the pole star. Just west of the zenith is 
Auriga; below this and a little to the north of west 
is Perseus; and Andromeda is near the horizon, 
below Perseus. Taurus, with the groups of Pleiades 
and Hyades, is a little south of west, and below it 
are Aries and Pisces. Orion is about halfway be- 
tween Taurus and the southern meridian, the prin- 
cipal stars being at a little lower altitude than those 
of Taurus. M. 

L.\KE Forest, III., Jan. i, 1890. 

Letters of inquiry should enclose a two-cent 
stamp, as well as the name and address of the wri- 
ter, which will not be published. 

Questions regarding the treatment of diseases 
cannot be answered in this column. 

G. R. A.., Missouri. — If water is cooled it contracts 
till a temperature of 39.2° is reached, and then 
expand.s to the freezing-point. Now if the resulting 
ice is cooled, does it contract, or continue to expand? 

Anstver. — After water is once frozen, the ice acts 
like any other solid body, and contracts as the tem- 
perature diminishes. 

G. B. D,, Cambridge. — How can sulphur be 
detected in spring water.' 

Answer. — A regular analysis is the only means of 
detecting small amounts, but the odor of sul- 
phuretted h.ydrogen gas — the usual form in which it 
occurs — is the best test for any appreciable quantity. 
This gas has a very offensive odor, similar to that 
of rotten eggs. Or, you may add a few drops of 
solution of acetate of lead, and note if a dark dis- 
coloration or precipitate is produced, indicating the 
presence of sulphur. These tests should be made at 
the spring, as the gas rapidly escapes from the 
water when exposed to the air. 

A. P. H., Maine. — Next to the diamond, what is 
the purest form of carbon .' 

Answer. — A well-made lampblack is almost chem- 
ically pure carbon, containing only a small quantity 
of hydrocarbon compounds. 

G. D. N., Alabama. — Can you give a formula cf 
cliemicals to be dissolved in water, and kept in 
bottles for the purpose of extinguishing fires.' 

Answer. — Common water is the best of all sub- 
stances for extinguishing fire, and the addition of 
chemicals adds very little to its efficiency. You can 
use common salt or alum in the water, but they will 
not be of much use. 

D. L. P., Boston. — Hydrogen gas is occasionally 
formed in steam and hot water radiators, from the 
decomposition of the water by the iron. The 
inflammable gas, which was blown out of the air- 
valve of your radiator, was doubtless due to that 

B. J. C, Chicago. — Hydrogen gas has been lique- 
fied, but it requires a pressure of 10,000 pounds to 
the square inch, and a temperature of 220° below 
zero. It forms a blue liquid, which,- by the cold 
produced by its own evaporation, may be frozen for 
an instant, to a solid with a metallic lustre, thus con- 
firming the theory that hydrogen is a fai»«ou« m«t«l, 
just as morcury is a liqufd ont. 


The National Medical Dictionary , by John S. Bil- 
lings, A. M., M. D. Two volumes. Published 
by Lea Brothers & Co., Philadelphia. 
This most comprehensive work furnishes to stu- 
dents and practitioners of medicine a clear and con- 
cise definition of every medical term in current use 
in English, French, German, and Italian medical 
literature, including the Latin medical terminology. 
Dr. Billings has had the collaboration of numerous 
specialists, and the result has been the most com- 
plete work of the kind ever published, and one that 
will be of the greatest service to all persons con- 
nected with the medical profession. Numerous 
tables of food values, expectation of life, weights 
and measures, and many others, add to the value of 
the work. 

A Text-Book of Assaying, by C. & J. J. Beringer. 

Published by J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. 

This text-book includes all the principal wet and 
dry methods of assaying, and also gives directions 
for the determination of many of the rarer elements, 
as well as those which have a commercial value. 
In drawing the line between "assaying" and 
"analysis," the authors have always given the 
benefit of the doubt, thus adding to the complete- 
ness and value of the work. 

Evolution, published by James H. West, 192 Sum- 
mer street, Boston, ($2.00), is a compilation of 
various popular lectures and discussions before the 
Brooklyn Ethical Association. It is a systematic, 
concise, and comprehensive presentation in popular 
form of the foundation and theory of evolution, and 
should be read by all interested in the subject, 
whether from a biological, sociological, or philo- 
sophical standpoint. 

A. S. Barnes & Co., Of New York and Chicago, 
publish a revised edition of Wood's Lessons in the 
Structure, Life, and Growth of Plants, edited by 
Oliver R. Willis. ($1.00.) Dr. Wood's works on 
botany have always ranked with the best, and the 
present edition, fully revised and brought down to 
date, will be found a valuable text-book for classes, 
and also suited for botanical amateurs taking up the 
study by themselves. 

P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Philadelphia, announce 
Ostrom's Massage and Swedish Movements, Bevan on 
Mental Diseases, and [fumphry's Manual for Nurses. 
They will also continue to publish the Ophthalmic 
Review, under the new editorship of Dr. Edward 
Jackson, of Philadelphia, assisted by a large number 
of eminent English and American ophthalmologists. 


Herbaceous Grafting. — Annuals, or herba- 
ceous plants, belonging to the same genus or natu- 
ral family, says the American Agriculturist, will 
adhere and grow on each other as readily as do 
woody plants. Thus, a cauliflower will grow on a 
cabbage, a tomato on a potato, or vice versa. The 
garden cucumber will grow on the wild vines of the 
same family which are sometimes used for covering 
arbors. And these grow to an extraordinary length, 
while the garden cucumber seldom exceeds six or 
eight feet. This knowledge of grafting annuals 
may be utilized and made profitable, especially when 
the potato is forced to ripen seed by engrafting or 
inarching on the tomato. Cucumbers may be 
grown on a high trellis, or around the upper-story 
windows of any building, by training one of the 
wild cucumber vines — either Sicyos angulatus, the 
single-seeded or star cucumber vine, or the Echino- 
cystes or wild balsam apple, either of which grows 
fifty or sixty feet in a single season — up to the de- 
sired height. This is easily done by sowing cucum- 
ber seed of any of the'garden varieties in a flower 
pot, and, when the plant is six or eight inches high, 
joining it to one of these wild vines when it has 
reached the desired height. Merely scraping the 
bark of each and tying them firmly together with 
any soft material is sufficient. They will unite in 
about ten or twelve days, or sooner, and produce 
fruits at a height to which the garden cucumber 
oould never attain. I 

n^edicirje arjd Pljaripacy. 

[Original in I'oputar Science Xeu!».'\ 

It seems highly proper to devote a few moments 
to the consideration of these exceedingly common, 
decidedly unsightly, and often very obstinate, 
growths; and they more especially appeal for path- 
ological and surgical consideration, since the various 
methods of treatment suggested b^' housewives and 
others, frequently fail to produce any effect upon 
the offending growths, or, by appearing to remove 
them, establish a suitable nidus for the growth of 
superstition in the minds of the credulous; while in 
not a few instances means are employed for their 
removal which, while accomplishing this end, pro- 
duce scars quite as unsightly as the warts themselves. 

Warts, or technically speaking, verruca, are pa- 
pillary excrescences of the true skin, due to hyper- 
trophy and elongation of its papilla", together with 
hypertrophy of the epidermis, or scarf-skin. They 
occur on nearly all parts of the body, though the 
fingers and the hands are their favorite seats. When 
the papilla; are prominent and their dermal cover- 
ing so arranged as to render them distinct to the 
naked eye, the wart presents a split or lobulated 
appearance, and receives the name of "seed-wart," 
or verruca lobosa. 

The cause of these growths is unknown. A warty 
state of the skin is often produced in those who 
continually expose their hands to irritating fluids, 
or hot surfaces, or even to long continued friction, 
but this condition of the skin so plainly caused by 
one's occupation gives no clue whatsoever to the 
cause of the spontaneous growths so frequently 
found on hands, as well as other portions of the 
body, not thus exposed. Common warts are well 
known to form much more frequently in children 
and young subjects than in old persons. That they 
are contagious is exceedingly doubtful. • 

Various means are employed for the removal of 
these offenders. Many need no treatment whatever, 
undergoing spontaneous involution and disappear- 
ing as mysteriously as they came. These are the 
warts which yield so readily to the ridiculous 
methods of treatment which have originated in 
superstition and ignorance; That "charms" acting 
through the mind have no effect upon the excres- 
cences, we are not prepared to say. Carpenter be- 
lieved that they did thus in some instances produce 
their disappearance, and cited a case in one of his 
physiological works ; and although we have met 
with persons who have told us that their warts dis- 
appeared in a week, after they had counted them 
and buried in the garden as many pieces of meat as 
there were warts, and others who were relieved of 
their warts by touching each one with a piece of 
brown paper which they afterwards threw over their 
lefl shoulder at sunset, we have also met with in- 
finitely more with whom all charms have failed, and 
we are inclined to be quite as skeptical as Dr. John 
Mason Good, who in his Study of Medicine savs, 
"they (warts) often disappear spontaneously, and 
hence are sometimes supposed to be charmed away." 
What, then, are the means by which these growths 
can be destroyed.' These are the ligature, the 
knife, caustics, and the cautery. Of these methods, 
the first two are probably the best, but even they 
are not to be recommended in most cases. The 
application of a ligature can only be effected when 
the wart is pedunculated, and the slow tightening of 
the loop is at the best a painful process, while warts 
thus removed are quite apt to recur. However, if 
the pedicle is narrow, and especially if the growth 
be upon the face or neck, il may be "advisable ti> 
attempt its removal by means of a silk ligature. 



[Fe bruary, 1890. 

The removal of warts b\- excision with some sharp 
instrument, as a razor or bistoury, was formerly 
much practiced, and is still the method of treatment 
employed by a few. It is, however, not usually to 
• be advised, even though it may appear to be a 
rational plan of treatment. The wound produced 
bv the sharp instrument employed for the excision, 
usually heals at once without producing any degen- 
eration of the roots of the papilla; and deeper struc- 
tures, and these by continuing to enlarge and 
elongate, in not a few instances soon elevate their 
heads quite as high above the surface of the skin as 
they were previous to excision. Although the vital- 
ity of these excrescences is usually not very great, 
still considerable hemorrhage may be caused by thus 
cutting the enlarged vessels of the papillae. We 
would, however, recommend excision of peduncu- 
lated warts, occurring upon the eyelids and other 
portions of the face, and the excision should be 
thus performed : Traction should be made upon 
the growth with a pair of forceps applied to its 
free extremity, and it is then snipped oft' as low as 
possible with a pair of curved scissors. For these 
warts this treatment is usually quick, thorough, and 
causes but momentary pain. 

Warts can be destroyed by caustics, and although 
this is the plan of treatment most universally re- 
commended, and is, in fact, quite efficacious, still it 
has serious disadvantages and can in no way com- 
pete with a form of treatment yet to be described. 
The application of caustics is often attended with 
much pain, their action is exceedingly slow, they 
discolor the tissues to which they are applied, and, 
what is of more consequence, they not only destroy 
the wart, but when applied in sufficient strength and 
amount to accomplish this end, they also invade 
and destroy the surrounding tissues, thus producing 
a wound which in healing almost invariably leaves 
an extensive scar. If, however, the treatment by 
caustics is adopted, let them be properly applied. 
Pare down the wart with a sharp knife to the level 
of the surrounding skin and then apply some strong 
caustic,— as the nitrate of silver stick, or nitric, 
muriatic, or glacial acetic acid, — repeating the appli- 
cation daily until the wart is destroyed. Care 
should be taken not te apply the caustic to the nor- 
mal tissues. 

These growths may also be destroyed by the gal- 
vano-cautery, or even the actual cautery, but in the 
experience of the writer, by far the best way of re- 
moving all ordinary warts is by means of the der- 
mal curette, or " sharp spoon." A rather large 
sized instrument should be employed. Its edge 
should be forced deeply around the base of the wart, 
which usually comes away with the production of 
but little pain and scarcely any bleeding, leaving a 
clean ulcer, which soon heals over, so as to form a 
smooth and uniform surface. By this means a 
large number of warts can be removed at one sitting. 
This is a favorite method of most dermatologists, 
and we could easily cite numerous cases which have 
been under our own personal observation, to prove 
its efficacy. After the use of the curette, the result- 
ing ulcers may be touched with the lunar caustic 
stick, or otherwise stimulated, but this will usually 
be unnecessary, as the curette itself usually produces 
sufficient irritation to the roots of the over-nourished 
papillae to cause their entire absorption. In default 
of the dermal curette, these growths may well be 
removed by means of a stout pair of dressing for- 
ceps — such as is to be found in every complete sur- 
geon's pocket-case. The wart is firmly grasped 
from above with the forceps, and twisted from its 
base. The therapeutical treatment of the common 
warts is so uncertain that we may dismiss it without 
further consideration. Dr. Verco reports a case in 
which a severe crop of these growths disappeared 

rapidly during a sea voyage, but we can quote nu- 
merous cases in which they have persisted under 
similar circumstances. J. H. E. 


[Original in Popular Sei*ht€ ^ w«.J 


When one lifts the cover of a dinner pot or wash 
boiler, the amount of hot water that will drip from 
the cover is noticeable. Now this water is con- 
densed steam. 

The idea struck the writer, why not utilize this 
for procuring pure water for drinking use in places 
where the natural water is not potable, i. e.. alkaline 
or salt. 

Acting on this hint I made a sketch of a device to 
do this for a patient who went to live at Malad 
City, Idaho, where the water was alkaline, three 
years ago. I tested it at home on -the kitchen range 
and it worked well. It was also tested with success 
in 1889, in London, at 119 New Bond street. 


(A) Does away with the worm. (B) With the 
condensing water. (C) Condenses by air which as 
fast as heated passes off". (D) A reservoir of 
tinned iron, 18x9 inches, with tight top, which fits 
into a kettle. 

At the bottom is soldered a flange of tin flaring 
upwards. At B is a tube to lead off the water 
that condenses inside and runs down the sides. 

The drops of distilled water are aerated during 
their fall through the air to receptacle, and becomes 
palatable, unlike ordinary distilled water, which 
goes from the still into the receptable without con- 
tact with the atmosphere. 

Fig. I. One eighteenth actual size — is a section 
of the apparatus made in London to show the prin- 
ciple. A B B' is a tin cylinder, 9 inches in diameter, 
and 18 inches high, covered with a conical tight 
cap. D is camp kettle — any common pot or kettle 
will answer. E is a handle. F F' is a flange to fit 
the kettle or pot as seen in any cover to a dinner 
pot. C C is another flange liWe F F', turned upside 
down, so that water condensed on the inside, 
A B B', and rnnning down, may collect and run 
into a receptacle, H. The use is clear. Put water 
bad as it may be in the camp kettle D. Set on 
stove, range, or fire, so that when ABB' is put on 
the kettle the tube B G may come oyer the recep- 
tacle II. Then have a gentle fire so that steam will 
not issue from G. Pure distilled water will soon 
drip from G, which will be whole-oome to drink. 

I. It does away with a worm and cold water for 
condenser. It is found that there is a current of air 

from all sides cooling the condenser, A B B', enough 
to give with this apparatus five pints in ten hours. 

2. The distilled water of the chemist is known to 
be brackish, but this is due to the distillate being 
discharged in closed, or comparatively closed, ves- 
sels. In the present case the water in drops falls 
through the air, arid this pre.sents a large surface to 
the atmosphere, Avith the practical result of an 
aerated water like that of a spring. 

3. The material shnuld be tinned iron, — not 
zinc, which distills zinc oxide, — or may be of 
enamelled ware, glass, porcelain, crockery, clay, 
potter^', etc. 

4. Variations. — Take a dinner pot, remove cover 
to it and fit a tin cylinder to cover eighteen inches 
long; at the other end put flanges and tube as above, 
and this will also do the work. The apparatus may 
be made coUapsibla, like the collapsible drinking 
cup. Liquids of a less boiling-point that water can 
also be distilled with this device, for example, 

Water produced by this process will be pure and 
clear as crystal. The importance of .purified water 
is great. The late Consul General of Japan in the 
United States, Mr. S. K. Takahashi, told me that 
when cholera in Japan carried off thousands, none 
of the Chinese died of it. He thought this immu- 
nity was due to their drinking-water always being 
boiled and filtered. The highest medical official of 
the British army told me that when he had rain- 
water, boiled and filtered, his health did not suffer, 
while ordinary water would make him feel unwell. 

1130 Bro.\dway, New York. 



Dr. William Murrell, of London, possesses 
high scientific attainments combined with a rare tal- 
ent for getting up a new cough remedy every year. 
Terebene, apomorphia, sirup of tar, have all been 
recommended as marvels of therapeutic utility. 
For the coming winter. Dr. Murrell proposes to 
give us chloride of ammonium inhalations. This is 
not a new thing, but it is served in a little different 
style. Dr. Murrell, however, does not depart en- 
tirely from his earlier loves, for he usually employs 
the chloride of ammonium vapors as a vehicle for 
using terebene, sandal-oil, or some other balsamic 

We rejoice to see that Dr. Murrell possesses not 
only an orginal and observant mind, but that he 
has a sense of humor which adds much to the 
interest of his clinical notes. In illustration of 
the value of the ammonium inhaler, he cites the 
following case : 

" N. B. , a general, retired. Is deaf. Has 

been deaf for years. Was in the artillery. Says all 
gunners are deaf, so that they never hear anything 
not good of themselves. Has strange noises in his 
ears. Dislikes any noise in a 'room, especially 
rattle of knives and forks at dniner. Prefers dinin" 
alone on this account. General conditions very 
bad, partly from want of exercise. Has consulted 
all the specialists, and has had his ears examined 
with many strange instruments. Says that the 
advantage of consulting many doctors is that no two 
of them agree, and you are not alarmed by what 
they tell you. Not much in favor of inhalers. 
Tried one once, but it blew up. Is introduced to 
the inhaler, and takes to it kindly. Chloride ol 
ammonium used first alone and then with pinol. 
Purchases one for himself, and at end of month 
writes to say it has done him much good." 

This is a report of a case full of practical sugges- 

The following note is almost equally valuable : 

Vol.. XXIV. No. 3.] 



"Miss A. W , singer, contralto, often losses 

her voice, especially when she has an engagement. 
Chest and vocal cords healthy. Thinks symptons 
partly due to nervousness. Voice uncertain, and 
apt To give in the wrong place. Something wrong 
with an upper C. Uses the chloride of ammonium 
inhaler, and takes phytolacca assiduously for a 
couple of days before singing. Maintains that it 
does her good. Impossible to contradict a lady, so 
treatment continued." 

\Ve trust that Dr. Murrell's politeness had its 
therapeutic reward. The inhalations of ammonium 
should be taken once to thrice daily, for half an hour 
at a time. — .V. }'. Medical Record. 

I Specially Compiled for Popular Science Netes.} 



BY W. S. WELLS, M. D. 

Every surgeon knows how difficult it is in certain 
cases to get a broken bone to heal by bony union. 
The ends may be pegged and hammered and sutured 
indefinitely without success. In the case of fracture 
of the radius there are oftentimes special difficulties, 
since resection — the last resource of the surgeon — 
leaves a gap between the end of the radius, which 
is shorter than the ulna beside it, and so it is almost 
impossible to bring the bared ends of the fractured 
parts into apposition and to keep them there. Even 
if a piece be cut out of the unfractured ulna, so that 
inequality in the length of the two bones is removed, 
a satisfactory result cannot always be obtained. In 
the London Lancet, Professor McGill reports this 
case : A man, twenty years of age, had fractured 
both bones so that the ends of the radius protruded 
throHgh the wound on the radial side of the fore- 
arm. The ulna healed quickly and well, but the 
radius remained ununited, although the ends had 
been refreshed and wired three months after the 
accident. Some eight months afterward he came 
to the hospital. He had a scar over the wound, 
and the ends of the radius were quite movable, the 
usefulness of forearm and hand being much im- 
pared. An Esmarch's bandage was applied, and an 
incision was made in the line of the old scar. The 
ends of the bones showed no signs of union, but 
were rounded and covered by a thick membrane-like 
periosteum. When this had been filed away, an 
interval of three-quarters of an inch was left between 
the fragments. This interval was filled with thirteen 
pieces of bone, each about one-sixth of an inch in 
length, chiselled from the femur of a freshly-killed 
rabbit. The bones were not wired. The skin 
wound was tighly stitched, without drainage, with 
catgut. Firm pressure was applied by means of 
salicylated wool and bandages, and the forSarm 
was placed on an interior splint. There was no 
suppuration and very little discharge. The patient 
left the hospital in six weeks, with the bone firmly 
united. Three months later, the injured arm was 
as useful as the other. Is it not possible that this 
method used by Professor McGill may be of service 
in the treatment of old ununited fractures in other 
parts .' It is possible that a more vigorous action 
might be set up, by presence of the implanted 
healthy bone, than would naturally occur in the 
fragments of a fractured long-bone in a person of 
feeble constitution. 

M. Perier, chief surgeon, and M. Patien, chief 
pharmacist of the Hospital Lariboisiere {Paris Med.) 
have ertiployed salol as a surgical dressing instead 
of iodoform, and have found that it gives a real im- 
pulse to the work of cicatrization, without causing 
any disagreeable sensation. 

Thus in the case of a man suffering from an ex- 
travasation of urine, with gangrene of the parts, 

iodoform was used as a dressing for about six weeks 
without marked improvement, but as soon as salol 
was substituted healing took place rapidly. 

Excellent results, much superior to those of iodo- 
form, have been accomplished with salol in a great 
varietyof surgicalcases, viz. : Ulcers, epitheliomata, 
mammary fistulx and abscesses, abscess of the 
antrum of Highmore, abscesses at the anus, vege- 
tations at the vulva, caries of the sternum and tha 
fsmur, etc. 

Both agree that even laymen prefer it greatly to 
iodoform for two reasons, viz., its agreeable odor 
and its moderate price. 

One great point dwelt upon by them is its abso- 
lute harmlessness as far as toxic effects are con- 
cerned, which latter ferm a source of danger when 
sublimate, iodoform, phenol, etc., are used, while 
the antiseptic action of salol is deemed by them to 
be equally valuable. 

A NEW diagnostic sign of abscess of the antrum 
was brought forward by Dr. T. Hervng, of Warsaw, 
at the Congress of Otology and Laryngology, held 
at Paris during September. The patient is placed 
in a dark room and his mouth lit up with a small 
electric lamp, placed above the tongue. Two bright- 
red spots will then appear before the lower eyelids. 
If the cavities are filled up with pus, or occupied by 
a tumor, these red spots will not appear, but, as 
soon as the pus escapes or the cavity is washed out, 
the spots again become \\sih\e:.— Medical and Sur- 
gical Reporter. 

BoETHRiCK recommends sulphonal for night 
sweats. In the majority of cases the sweating 
ceases after the administration of half a gramme 
(7 1-2 grains.) He is of the opinion that the in- 
hibitory action of sulphonal on the secretion of 
sweat is not inferior to that of atropine. Its action 
is so lasting that during the second night (without 
sulphonal) perspiration was less profuse than be- 
fore the institution of the treatment. — Jour, de Med. 
de Paris. 

Sahli and Nencki, in a discussion before the 
Medical Society of Berne, recommended the use of 
salol in cases of diabetes, on account of the carbolic 
acid It contained. Dr. Mundel, Milwaukee, has 
used salol in three cases of diabetes during the past 
year, and found at the expiration of that time that 
the sugar in the urine had entirely disappeared. 
Dr. Mundel prescribed 0.5 Gm. (7 1-2 grains) four 
times daily. 

Dr. William Perry Watsox, from observation of 
thirty cases of enuresis, feels justified in saying 
that in sulphate of atropia we have a remedy which, 
when given to its full physiological effects, is un- 
equalled in our materia medica. — Medical Bvlletin. 

A French physician relates a case in which a 
boy of fourteen suffered from persistent bleeding 
after the extraction of a molar tooth. Perchloride 
of iron was without effect, and so much blood was 
lost that syncope was induced. On recovery, the 
hemorrhage again broke out, and perchloride of 
iron was once more tried, but vainly. The cavity 
was then plugged with two or three pledgets of lint 
steeped in solution of antipyrine. The bleeding at 
once permanently ceased. It was noticed that 
while the perchloride caused severe pain, the anti- 
pyrine was not objected to. It is suggested, not 
improbably, that the antipyretic action of this and 
similar drugs may possibly be due to the fact that 
they diminish the blood-supply by their astringent 
effect on the blood-vessels. — Vhio Journal of Peiital 
Science. -• 

Cholewa recommends for the treatment of furun- 
culosis of the external meatus, a twenty-par cent, 
solution of oil of menthol, introduced into the 
meatus by means of firmly twisted rolls of cotton, 
which by their size exert a gentle pressure upon the 
inflamed surface. The action of the remedy is not 
only antiphlopistic and analgesic, but, above all, 
antibacteric. The staphylococcus aureus, which, 
according to the investigations of Garrc and others, 
causes the formation of furunculic, does not develop 
in nutritive substance which has been slighty im- 
pregnated with solution of menthol oil (o.S of men- 
thol : So aqua.) As soon as the coccus comes in 
direct contract with the solution, it dies quickly; 
even the vapor of menthol is sufficient.— t'frt/;-a//- 
hlat f. d. Med. Wissen. 

The following formula is suggested in Im Cliniqiie 
with the view of facilitating the removal of accumu- 
lations of wax in the external auditory meatus : 

R. Acidi borici, gr. Iv. 

Glycerini, f § iss. 

AqusE dest., f| iss. 

This should be warmed and instilled into the ear, 
leaving it there for a quarter of an hour, and repeat- 
ing the process for a day or two. The result is to 
soften the plugs and make their removal compara- 
tively easy by means of the syringe. 

Dr. Geo. H. Powers, San F"rancisco,Cal., writes : 
In reading an article on "Death from Chloro- 
form," I notice the absence of the one antidote on 
which I most rely, namely, nitrite of amyl. I always 
keep it ready for use in my office, and carry it 
with me when I use chloroform elsewhere, and find 
it of great value, in cases where chloroform does 
not act kindly, in restoring the heart's functions. 
In the exceptional cases when cocaine causes faint- 
ness and collapse, a few inhalations of nitrite of 
amyl quickly restore a normal condition. — .,V. J-!. 
Medical Journal. 

Dr. Konigstein, {.Medical Press), while giving 
directions in his class on the uses and prescribing of 
spectacles, said that green glass as a protection 
against strong rays was worse than useless, and did 
more harm to a sensitive eye than good, as it 
allowed the yellow rays to be transmitted, and un- 
necessarily irritated the eye. Against strong rayS 
the blue or smoked glasses were the only real pro- 
tection. The blue should be light, as a deep blue 
color produces a clear violet disk in the center of 
the lens, which apparently corresponds to the fovea 
centralis, and by a protracted use of dark-blue spec- 
tacles the patient may become annoyed by the 
mosiac work of the fundus of the eye appearing 
before him. The phenomenon seems to be connected 
with the pigmenting changes in the macula lutea. 

Hitherto it has been deemed permissible to add 
soda bicarbonate to milk to assist in its preservation, 
but now the Council of Hygiene of the Seine has 
condemned the practice as one of danger. The 
transformation of milk-sugar into lactic acid, in 
milk so adulterated, gives rise to i. lactate of soda 
which is purgative, and frequently a source of 
almost uncontrollable diarrhoea in infants. Conse- 
quently, the Council in its liullelin decides that: 
-'Soda shall no longer be permitted in milk, which 
is an aliment of the first order, and very often pre- 
scribed for invalids and children." 

According to the Pharmaceutical Record, com- 
pa.rtitive examinations of many mouth-washes 
show that those containing thymol as the disinfect- 
ing agent^of the mouth-cavity and teeth, are to be 



[February, 1S90. 

preferred to other*. The action of thymol is not 
verv rapid, but its use has no deleterious influence 
on "the teeth whatever. Salicjlic acid acts on the 

According to the Peoria Medical Monthly, stains 
produced by the explosion of gunpowder may be re- 
moved by first painting the slcin with a solution of 
biniodide of ammonium in an equal part of distilled 
water, then with dilute hydrochloric acid. 

Parasiticide Ointment. 

Salicylate of mercury, 16 grains. 

Vaseline, i ounce.— M. 

This makes not only an excellent ointment 
against the paratitic skin diseases, but against 
eczema, pityriasis, and syphilitic vegetations.— 
7y' Union Medicate. 

Ax excellent ointment for red hands {Pharm. Kra) 
is the following : 

R. Lanolin, 100 gm. 

Paraffin (liquid), ' 25 gm. 

Vanillin, o 01 gm. 

01. rosa:, ggt- j. M. 

The Parisians apply a thin coating of this at bed- 



A PAPER printed in Krausenburg, Austria, on the 
occasion of th« recent celebration of the centenary 
of Cardinal Haynald, relates the following story on 
the authority of one well acquainted with those who 
know the reverend gentleman and were familiar 
with the circumstances : 

Havnald, Bishop of Siebenburgen, stopped, on his 
return from a confirmation tour, at a small place 
named Torda, and, being detained a day longer than 
was expected, his secretary, Lonhart, found to his 
dismay that they had not enough money to pay the 
hotel bill. Now a bishop cannot very well run away 
without paying what he owes, nor does his sense of 
dignity permit him to plead even temporary pecuni- 
ary embarrassment. Still, the bishop managed to 
avoid either dilemma. He sent a waiter to the 
apothecary of the place, a Mr. Gabriel, with whom 
His Grace was acquainted, with the following 
recipe, which has since been preserved by the sev- 
eral successive proprietors of the establishment: 

R Kotain auttriaeam 


D. S. — For one day's use only. 

Dr. Haynald. 

The druggist's clerk, being somewhat; rattled by 
the sudden interruption of his sleep, tried in vain to 
understand the nature of the prescription, and after 
fruitless consultation of his works of reference, 
wakened his employer, who, after reading the recipe, 
sent his clerk again to bed, and said he would him- 
self prepare the prescription. He put 200 guilders 
in notes into a powder box, duly sealed, labelled, 
and inscribed, and sent it to the bishop, saying to 
the messenger that in case the powder should not be 
sufficient he would be glad to send a second dose. 
This, however, was not necessary, and the first 
dose, after "one day's use only," was returned with 
thanks.— j4»i. Druggist. 

Chinese Pills —Chinese pills are said to be just 
the size of crab apples, and are coated with a semi- 
transparent sugary substance covered with flowers 
and gilt letters. But it must take an uniKual 
amount of moral courage in -n Chinaman U, tackle a 

An extensively advertised "Microbe Killer" is said 
by the Western Druggist to be composed of 4 
drachms of oil of vitrol, l drachm of muriatic acid, 
I ounce of red wine, and a gallon of water. The 
dangerous nature of this stuff is evident from the 
above formula. 

The turnkey of the Peoria jail, according to the 
Medical iroj-M, has a cure for delirium tremens. He 
rubs the patient with capsicum ; and in the enthusi- 
asm and singleness of purpose with which the latter 
scratches himself he has no time to think of «n«kes. 
One day of this treatment is sufficient for any ordi- 
nary case. 

New Use for Stale Bread. — A safe, sure, and 
certain cure for corns is said to be found in a poul- 
tice formed of stale bread soaked in strong vinegar. 
It should be applied at night on retiring. In the 
morning the soreness will be gone, and the corn 
can be picked out. Obstinate corns may require 
two or more applications. 

The Tendency of the Times.- "Who is your 
family physician, Freddy.'" asked Mrs. Hendricks of 
the Brown boy. "We ain't got none," said the boy. 
"Pa's a homcEopath, ma's an allopath, sister Jane is 
a Christian scientist, grandma and grandpa buy all 
the patent medicines going, uncle James believes in 
massage, and brother Bill is a horse doctor." 

A Novel Plant.— Miss Bacon (they have been 
discussing orchid.s) : "And now, professor, I w«nt 
you to tell me about the plant from which electricity 
is made." 

Professor Hohonthy (aghast) : "The which.'" 
Miss Bacon : "You certainly must have heard of 
it. Father says its high cost prevents the general 
use of electric lighting — I mean the electric plant." 

Cigarettes.— Mr.Willis G.Tucker, in his report 
to the New York State Board of Health, on the re- 
sult of his examination of various popular brands of 
cigarettes, says that careful analysis of tobacco and 
paper failed to reveal any poisonous ingredients, 
other than the tobacco itself, and that most cigar- 
ettes contain pure tobacco and good paper. The 
evils of cigarette smoking are due to the fact that 
cigarettes are cheap, convenient, and can be used 
in large and excessive quantities, that the smoke is 
usually inhaled, and that children and immature 
persons freely use them. 

A Bull in a Chemist's Shop. — Recently, says 
the Liverpool Courier, the inhabitants of the usuall_!^ 
quiet suburb of Fairfield were treated to a sensation 
of a novel description. About one o'clock in the 
afternoon a herd of cattle were being driven from 
Liverpool to Stanley, via Prescott Road. By Elm 
Park a huge specimen of the bovine species bolted, 
and evidently feeling unwell, rushed into the nearest 
chemist's shop— kept by Mr. R. Jones. Once inside 
the shop his bullship commenced a number of acro- 
batic feats which, in the ring of Hengler's Circus, 
would have made a fortune for its owner, but which 
in the circumscribed arena of a druggist's establish- 
ment, although, doubtless, somewhat entertaining 
to the other onlookers, was not quite appreciated by 
the proprietor of the shop. Having upset three 
tables, smashed about two hundred bottles contain- 
ing eau de Cologne, paregoric, castor oil, spirits of 
nitre, St. Jacob's Oil, and other ingredients, the bull 
rushed at another case which contained a number 
of drugs, amongst others a large bottle of acetic 
acid, and another of nitric acid. These he likewise 
knocked on the ground, upsetting the contents. 
Some of the nitric acid got on the. bull's nose and 
feet, which caused him to beat a speedy retreat into 
the street, where 

published monthly by the 

Popular Science News Company, 

B Somerset Street. Boston. 




The Publishers of the NEWS e.irnestly request that sub. 
scribcrs will make their remittances either by draft on Bos- 
ton or New York, or by a order. If it is absolutely 
necessary to mail money, it should be sent onJy in a registered 
letter. The publishers decline to assume the risk ol money 
mailed in unregistered letters. 

Remittances will be duly credited on the printed address 
label of the paper; but if they are received after the 15th of the 
month, the change in the label c.innot be made until a month 
later. If a formal receipt is desired, a two-cent stamp or a 
postal card should be enclosed with the remittance. 

Publisliers' ColunjR. 

One cannot be always going into the sublime, but if you 
must write that way an Estekbrook Easy Writer Pen is a 
valuable help. 

The use of the Buffalo Lithia Mineral Water is said 
to have accomplished some remarkable cures of gravel and 
similar affections of the kidneys and bladder. 

Thayer's Nutritive combines the properties ot a tonic, 
stimulant, and food, and the name of the firm manufacturing it 
is sufficient guarantee of its purity and reliability. 

A GLANCE at the catalogue of Messrs. E. A. Jackson & 
BRO.will show the great variety of styles of their Ventilating 
Grate, and will convince one of their many points of excel- 
lence and economy over the old-fashioned fire-place or grate. 

The phenomenally mild winter is likeJy to cause a total 
failure of the ice crop in many localities this season. The Ice 
Machines of David Boyle will produce an abundant supply 
in the hottest weather, and at a cost little exceeding that of cut- 
ting and storing the natural product. 

The preparations of the Health Food Co. arc admirably 
adapted to weak and enfeebled stomachs, as they are readily 
digestible, and contain much nutriment in a concentrated form. 
Preparations are supplied for diseases (such as diabetes, etc.) 
which require special forms of food. 

The Wells Rustless Iron Water Pifes are the best 
carriers of water in use. They do not load the water with oxide 
of iron, to the staining of clothing, and the' rapid destruction of 
the pipe itself; neither do they l^nd any metallic contamination 
to the water, as is often the case with pipes made of lead, gal- 
vanized iron, and other. poisonous metals. 

The well-known nutritive properties of malt extract, and the 
case with which it is assimilated, render it a valuable agent in 
the treatment of diseases due to defective nutrition. The 
Maltine Manufacturing Co. offer a very superior article, 
which is highly recommended by physicians of national repu- 
tation, and which can be obtained either by itself, or combined 
with any of the therapeutical agents which are compatible 
with it. 

The following is a correct analysis of Colden's Liqj_'iD 
Beef Tonic by Artlmr Hill Hassell, M.D., F. R.S., President 
of the Royal Analytical Association, London: 

30 per cent, saccharine matter 20 

35 per cent, glutinous or nutritious matter obtained in the 
condensation of the beef _. 2^ 

25 per cent, spirits rendered non-injurious to the most deli- 
cate stomach by the extraction 6f tht fusel oil 25 

30 per cent, of an aqueous solution of several herbs and 
roots, among which are most discernible Peruvian and 
Calisaya barks 30 

Total 1 00 

Since the date of the above analysis, and by the urgent 

request of several eminent members of the medical profcs.sion, 

cntually he w»* raptured bv aix ! ^^ Colden has added to each wineglassful of this preparation 

men, and dragged off to Stanley cattle market. 

two gmins of soluble cititte of iron. 

C|)E $oj>ular detente iSttPS 



Volume XXIV 




Familiar Science.— Fire 33 

Extraordinary Hailstones 34 

The Proto- Helvetes, or Lake -Dwellers of 

Switzerland 34 

Egyptian Language and Chronology — Char- 
acters of Egyptian Inscriptions — The 

Rosetta Stone 35 

What the Winter Woods Aftbrd 36 

Scientific Brevities 36 

Practical Chemistry and the Arts. — L'ltia- 

marine -37 

A Device for Writing in Moving Vehicles . 37 
The Scientific Knowledge of the Ancient 

Greeks and Romans , . . 37 

The Out-Door World. — Reports from Chap- 
ters of the Ninth Century 39 

Photography 40 

Practical Photographic Points 40 

Editorial. — Pre-historic Rock Inscriptions in 

Sweden 42 

Brief Studies in Biology 42 

An Ancient Indian Village Site 43 

Meteorology for January, 1890 44 

Astronomical Phenomena for March, 1890 . 45 

(^estions and Ajjswers 45 

Literary Notes 45 

Medicine and Pharmacy. — Sleep .... 46 

Monthly Summary of Medical Progress . . 46 

Bacteria, Bacilli, Micrococci, and Microbes . 47 
Pathological Inferiority of the Left Side of 

the Human Body 48 

The Deadly Cold JBed 48 

Medical Miscellany 48 

Publishers' Column 48 

Banjiliar Scieijce. 


What is fire.' We fancy that few persons 
coiild answer. this question oft' hand, although 
the phenomenon of combustion is perfectly 
familiar to everyone. The ancients consid- 
ered fire to be one of the primitive elements, 
like the earth, air, and water, — all of which we now know to be compound and not 
elementary substances, — and this idea of an 
elementary fiery principle survived under the 
names of phlogiston, caloric, etc., down to 
the time of Lavoisier, and was not entirely 
overthrown until after the beginning of the 
present century. 

We have, in the preceding paragraph, 
spoken of fire as a phenomenon, and that 
is exactly what it is. Fire is not a substance ; 
it is not even an immaterial force, like light 
or heat ; but, as generally understood, is 
simply the sensible phenomena of light and 
heat resulting from an intense chemical 
reaction — generally, but not always, a pro- 
cess of oxidation. We may dissolve a piece 
of zinc in sulphuric acid, b}' itself, or do the 
same when it forms a pole of a galvanic 

battery ; or we may heat it until it bursts into 
ftame. In all these cases the process is a 
similar one, — that of oxidation, — but fire 
accompanies the process only in the last. 
There the oxidation takes place so rapidly 
that the heat .set free is not- only suflicient to 
be detected by our nerves of sensation, but 
the resulting particles of zinc oxide are heated 
to such a degree that they become luminous. 
So if finely divided metallic iron is exposed 
to the air, it gradually absorbs oxygen and is 
converted into rust. But if the same iron is 
ignited with a match, it takes fire, becomes 
luminous, smoulders away like a glowing 
coal, ami is soon converted into a similar 
oxide, or rust. Just as much heat is set free 
in one case as in the other, the only difference 
being in the rapidity .of its development, 
which determines whether or not it shall 
become evident to our senses. When hydro- 
gen and oxygen gases are burned together, 
as in the oxyhydrogen blow-pipe, the result- 
ing flame, although one of the hottest known 
to us, is almost invisible, and to the eye alone 
there is no appearance of fire ; but introduce 
a piece of metal, or a lump of lime, or other 
refractory substance, and the brilliant lumi- 
nous phenomena at once indicate the intensity 
of the chemical combination which is taking 

Fire is not always dependent upon a pro- 
cess of oxidation. A mixture of iron filings 
and flowers of sulphur is readily ignited, 
forming ferrous sulphide ; and sodium, potas- 
sium, copper, and some other metals readily 
burn in the vapor of boiling sulphur, giving 
rise to the same igneous manifestations as 
when they combine with oxygen. Nitrous 
oxide, or laughing-gas (N^ O), also sup- 
ports combustion, although the reaction is 
one of true oxidation, the same as with pure 
oxygen or air. 

A very important distinction must be 
drawn between fire and flame ; the latter 
is merely an incidental manifestation of the 
former. Burning charcoal simply glows and 
wastes away ; there are no combustible gases 
formed, and the chemical reaction takes place 
only on the surface of the coals. With wood, 
oil, wax, tallow, etc., the heat produced by 
the oxidation sets free from the unconsumed 
portioii, a large quantity of hydrocarbon 
gases, which take fire and burn at a distance 
from the original burning body, exactly as 
the gas which we burn in our houses is 

driven oH' by heating the coal at the distant 
gas-works. If we burn a piece of magne- 
sium,^ flame is apparently present, but it is 
only the incandescent particles of oxide as 
they fly off" into the air at a white heat. A 
similar artificial flame may be made from 
charcoal itself by finely pulverizing it, throw- 
ing the dust into the air, and igniting it. 
Serious explosions have occurred by dust 
igniting in this manner, but such phenomena 
are nof, strictly speaking, true flames, which 
are only produced by the combustion of 

A word shouU be said in reference to 
electric lights, wliich are simply masses of 
carbon heated to an excessively high temper- 
ature. There is no true fire or oxidation 
about them, but a transformation of electrical 
energy into heat and light. There is an 
oxidizing process at the foundation, however, 
and the heat of the oxidizing carbon in the 
furnaces under the steam boilers which fur- 
nish the power to drive the dynamo machines, 
is just as truly transferred through the wires 
to the distant electric lights, as the water from 
tile pond or stream is transferred through the 
pipes to the dwellings of the city. In one 
case it is the tiwnsference of energy, in the 
other that of matter. 

The knowledge of fire is a distinctive attri- 
bute of mankind. No ape, however intelli- 
gent, has been found but what regards it with 
terror, and no race of men — with, perhaps, 
one or two doubtful exceptions — but what 
enjoys its numerous benefits. It is hard to 
say how it was first brought to the knowledge 
of mankind. The Greeks considered it a 
direct gift from the gods ; but, disregarding 
that belief, the lightning-stroke,* the volcano, 
an accidental spark, from the striking of a 
stone, falling upofi dry leaves, or even, as has 
been suggested, by a drop of gum exuding 
from a tree acting as a natural burning-glass, 
— any or .all of these causes may have intro- 
duced this useful but dangerous servant to 
mankind. Once discovered, the knowledge 
seems to have been carefully preserved, and 
the art of producing fire has advanced 
through the fire-sticks and drills of the 
savage, to the flint and steel, and friction 
matches of later times, until in this modern 
age of electricity a touch of the finger is 
suflicient to produce an electric spark, which 
will instantly ignite the fires and gas-lights of 
the largest building, or, if desired, those of an 
entire city. 



[March, 1S90. 


On the 9th of June, 1867, there was a fall 
of hail at Bjeloi-Kliutsch, a village lying to 
the southwest of TiHis, in which the hail- 
stones occurred in the remarkable crystalline 
forms shown in their natural size in the 
engraving, (first published in the London 
Nature.) The drawings were made by 
a Russian professor residing at Tiflis, but, 
for some reason, have only recently attracted 
the attention they deserve. They consist of a 
central nucleus, sinrounded by large nce- 
crystals somewhat resembling those of (^lartz, 
and, like that mineral, belonging to the hex- 
agonal or rhombohedral system of crystalliza- 
tion. It has been suspected tiiilt water is 
dimorphic, and sometimes crystallizes in the 
trimetric system, but the supposition has not 
as yet been confirmed. 

The most remarkable point in connection 
with the hailstones, is the fact that, judging 
from our present knowledge, a very long 
time must have been 


occupied in their 
formation. As a 
general rule, the 
larger and more 
pei-fect a crystal, 
the more slowly it 
must be formed ; 
and we cannot un- 
derstand how so 
heavy a body as a 
hailstone can be 
supported in the air 
long enough for the 
crystallization to 
take place so per- 
fectly. We must 
admit either that 
these stones were 
formed under the 
influence of natural 

[Original in Popular Science New$.] 





In the Bronze Age we have no longer to deal with 
villages, whose people depended on the products of 
the lake or woods for a living. On the contrary, 
we find flouri.shing cities and organized towns, where 
a certain degree of luxury obtains, characterizing 
a civilized community. The palafittes were no 
longer modest huts, but good wooden cabins, large 
and firmly constructed, judging from the quality 
and quantity of beams found among the piles. 
They were spacious enough to find lodging place 
for the domestic animals, as is proved Ijji the 
remains of oxen, pigs, goats, and dogs gathered 
from this archieological bed. 

Round the palafittes a large esplanade must have 
extended, iipon which certain kinds of work could 
be done which could not easily be executed in the 
dwellings. It is evident that all the work was done 

practice of building on the water continued into the 
beginning of the Iron Age. The number of sta- 
tions, however, diminished. Proof is given in the 
Lake of Bienne of thirteen villages of the age of 
Stone to two of Bronze. The same comparison 
exists is the lakes of Moral and Neufchatel. But 
the stations of the age of Bronze, if less numerous, 
are far more extensive than those of the Stone 
periods. They are constructed farther from the 
bank, — two or three hundred yards, instead of one 
to two hundred, — and occupy a large area. The 
piles are larger, better preserved, higher above the 
level of the soil, and cut into form— often square. 
Between these piles is a treasure trove of pottery, 
fine vases having been found entire. 

The discovery of the first bit for a horse, at 
Moerigen in 1872, was a great event in the archaeo- 
logical world. At first its authenticity was doubted, 
but when the same station produced a bit made in 
one piece, — a true chef d'ceuvre of metallurgy, — 
further incredulity was impossible. At Cortaillod, 
in 1862, a very large bronze wheel was found. 
Archivologists looked upon it as a symbolical 

on the lake, as in the Stone Age, indubitable proof, object, considering it unlikely that a people dwell- 

of this being found in the debris of workshops, 
where, besides tlie moulds and the tools used for 

ing on lakes would have use for chariots. How- 
ever, as the Bronze stations were further developed, 
_ the richest beds fur- 

nished skeletons of en- 
tire horses and more 
than twenty bits. The 
museum of Lausanne 
has one of these bits 
— a particularly fine 
specimen — among its 

The moulds in which 
the various bronze ob- 
jects were made are 
almost as interesting 
as the objects them- 
selves. The m.njority 
are made of gray mo- 
lasses stone. They are 
double, and have the 
pattern traced on each 
part. Some are found 
in cl.iy, and a few of 
bronze. The swords 
and knives of bronze 
are not onlv elegant 

forces or conditions still imknown to us, manufacturing the arms, etc., broken objects are 

or that, in certain circumstances, aqueous i °"^" '°""'' "^^'"^ '"''''= ''^^" brought to the spot to 

, ,. ,.^ ? . ' be mended. Only, in order to diminish the risks of 

Tapor or water mav be solidified into ! ^ j • .. .• c i.- • 1 

' " [ nre durmg the operation of smelting, an especial 

large crystals, with the rapidity which •■ pjace outside the palafittes was reserved for this 
we should naturally expect to occur in ! work. At Moerigen and at Auvernier Dr. Gross 

in shape, but are covered with graceful designs, all 
of which, however, are more or less geometric, for 
the Lacustres do not seem to have taken any ideas 
/rom the kingdom of Nature nor from the animal 

It is certain that they knew steel, since some of the 
the sudden condensation of moisture in the found all the apparatus of workshops in a space of I arms are made of this metal, and they made use of 
upper air. The genesis of hail is still an ! " ''^^^ square metres. ! it in engraving patterns on the hammered jewelry. 

. ,„„i„„j ™„t 1 „• 1 ui 1 The discovery of the workshop foundries of the ' Lead, almost unknown hitherto in a pure state, has 

unsolved meteorological problem, and pre- , . •' ,, ^ . ,,.,(, »- , . » . .u r r t 

. ° ^ ' Lacustres is recent. Until this time it was believed ! been found at Auvergne, m the form of a granulous 

gents so many difficulties that one scientist ^^^^ j,,^ ^1^^^^^ „l,j^^j^ i„ ^^^^^^ ^^.^^^ imported; | mass weighing 1,700 grammes; while a large mass 
was driven to the theory that hailstones were but gradually, as the archaiolbgists pursued their of tin, suspended by a ring of bronze, and weighing 
of interplanetary origin, like meteors. This | researches, Moerigen and Auvernier, then Esta- 1,800 grammes (about four pounds), was discovered 
remarkable hypothesis, however, only brings vayer, Cortaillod, and Carcelettes, one after another, at the same spot. Hence it is proved that metals— 
up the still greater problem as to how repealed the presence of the foundries on the pala- 
fittes. The moulds for the objects we see in the 
museums, of pins, bracelets, hammers, rings, 
pendants, lances, and knives, are found in these 
workshops; also the tools used for hammering the 

the hailstones could enter and pass 
through the atmosphere without being 
instantly dissipated in vapor by the heat 

evolved, as shown by the extreme tempera- ^ metal. The stations of the age of Bronze, unlike 
ture to which the meteors themselves are 'hose of Stone, all existed at the same time. Ham- 
raised in the passage. The actual cause '"^""« '"'"'' ^'"elting of metal belong to the same 
, ^t 1 c .\ r ,■ .- 1 -1 ' period, some objects being found which unite the 

and method ot the formation of hailstones!' ^, , r" 1 \.- 

I two methods of, workmanship. 

must be left for future students of mctcor-l with the introduction of bronze, palafittes ceased j the sun;" they are made of a hollow bowl of bronze 
ology to discover, _ I to exist in the eastern lakes; but in the west, the 'or '^'a.v. <" .which are bits of metal or stone, the 

copper and tin especially— were imported by the 
Lacustres, and used by them for the manufacture 
of their bronze objects. 

Among the curious articles that this period fur- 
nishes are tubes of bronze, which remained an 
enigma to the savants until the discoveries on the 
Tene — the great station of the Iron Age — proved 
these tubes to be needle-cases, some being found 
there enclosing the needles. The rattles for babies, 
too, remind us that "there is nothing new under 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 


liandles being of wood. Clasps for belts or heavj 
garments are massive, beautifully chased, and 
handsome. The buttons show, among other varie- 
ties of shape, that of the double or cuff-button of 
our modern age. The ornaments of this period — 
the ear-ring», bracelets, and pendants — are found in 
amber (brought, probably, from the shores of the 
Baltic), glass (blue, yellow, and white), and even in 
gold. • 

ISut, leaving the wealth of metal objects which 
excite our admiration and surpriseat every moment, 
and our appreciation of the ingenuity and skill of 
the workman of this pre-historic race, let us pass to 
the ceramics and see what progress the potter of 
the Bronze period has made over his brothers of the 
preceding ages. It is evident that pottery has now 
approached a fine art. The shapes of the vases are 
so graceful and perfect that some of- them can rival 
those of the Roman ceramics. Utensils, dishes, 
cups, and plates are all more or less flat at the 
bottom, while vases and goblets are sometimes 
rounded or conical, necessitating some kind of 
stand to place them in. /C few specimens are sup- 
ported by feet; others have one foot, enlarged at the 
base and hollow inside, always decorated with taste, 
very fragile and easily broken. Triple vases are 
among the curious diversities of shape, being com- 
posed of three vases identically alike, joined by clav 
cylinders, perforated so that there is a communica- 
tion between them. In certain tombs in Prussia 
(Lausitz) and in the ruins of Troy, analogous vases 
are found. Do we not find the same idea, t»o, in 
the baskets of the Japanese.' Vases vary in size at 
this period, from the colossal, to the tiny things 
(evidently playthings for children) no larger than 
a nut. 

The ornamentation of the pottery, as that of the 
bronze implements, is geometric — series of lines 
traced in different ways, or grouped with artistic 
skill. Triangles, concentric circles, wreaths jutting 
out or hollowed in the clay, are among the most 
beautiful of the designs. Here and there the cross 
is met with, especially on the bottom of certain 
little vases. The custom of coloring vases in 
yellow, red, or black, belongs only to the end of the 
Bronze Age, therefore specimens are very rare. 
The best of these was found at Moerigen. It has 
the form of a large open dish, whose interior is 
covered with geometric designs, artistically colored 
in red and black. The potters employed pebbles of 
serpentine to rub the surface of the vases, but some 
pieces present such a polished exterior as could 
only be obtained by means of varnish. Moulds 
were used instead of the potter's wheel to shape the 
vases, and, in some cases, thin bands of metal, kept 
in place by resin, were bound around the outer 
edges for ornament. 

Though no idea of using the kingdom of Nature 
as a model for ornamentation seems to have 
occurred to the Lacustres, they seem to have tried 
their hand at modelling. Little statuettes of pigs, 
moles, and ducks have appeared, the latter being 
very interesting, since instead of feathers, the 
artist has glued little pieces of tin to the clay. As 
all the palafittes were destroyed by fire, it is not 
unusual to see several objects — bracelets, hatchets, 
and lances — in a state of conglomeration, soldered 
together by the heat to which they have been 

In order to arrive at such a high degree of culti- 
vation, which includes a technical knowledge very 
astonishing at this epoch when individual develop- 
ment was confronted with such great obstacles, it 
must be granted that the pre-historic race was well 
endowed, both as to intelligence and ingenuity. 
N'or were they lacking in surgical skill, one would 
premise, for a skull was found in Dr. Gross's 

presence, at nearly two metres depth of soil, which 
had a round opening in the occipital region of three 
centimetres diameter, which by analogy is identical 
with the operation of.modern days termed " trepana- 
tion." The practice of "trepanning" has already- 
been proved in several places, though this is the 
first and only instance as yet discovered among the 
Lacustres. t)r. Prunieres, of Lyons, was the first 
to draw the attention of archicologists to t+iis point, 
in determining the numerous skulls bearing traces 
of this surgical operation discovered in the dolmens 
of the Lozere.* Dr. II. Waukel de Blansko (Mora- 
via) also has found a skull, presenting the resection 
of the greatest part of the orcipital bone, in a tomb 
near d'Olmutz. 

But the "beautiful Bronze Age" had its limit. 
It must have been a past age long before the men of 
iron weapons occupied the banks of the lake. His- 
tory had not begun for us by the advent of the 
Rom,-As when the last palafitte of the Bronze Age 
was destroyed ; therefore we cannot know why the 
beautiful cities were thus desolated. It is almost 
too much to hope that further researches can throw 
light upon this disastrous close to an age of 
remarkable development. 

*Druiiiical reiniiins. 

[OrigiiKil in t'opuUir Science Xcws,\ 


The history of the development and decay of the 
Egyptian language has not yet been authentically 
traced; only the four distinct graphic systems — 
Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic — can 
safely be confined within chronological limits. The 
time of the development of the old and full hiero- 
glyphic writing is unknown. It was perfectly 
understood and freely .used in the third and fourth 
dynasties, which would render it probable that the 
date of its discovery must be placed earlier than 
3,000 years B. C. There were thirty-one dynasties 
which reigned successively in Egypt, numbering 
upwards of three hundred kings. The total number 
of years between the reigns of Menes and Nectanebo 
II., (about 350 B. C), the last king of the thirtieth 
dynasty, who was succeeded by a Persian, was 
3,555 years. This succession, though the longest 
hitherto established anywhere in the world, is now, 
also, the best authenticated. It is based upon the 
lists of kings and their reigning years, and these 
lists are corroberated and elucidated by contempo- 
rary monuments up to the fourth dVnasty, with only 
slight breaks in the chain. The era of Menes, 
according to Bunsen, was 3,643 B. C. Lepsius 
makes it 3,803; Brugsch, 4,455; and, according to 
Mariette, 5,004. It is still disputed among Egypti- 
ologists whether the first seventeen dynasties which 
succeeded Menes were consecutive. It is main- 
tained, however, by the latest writers, that the 
dynasties were, with some exceptions, consecutive, 
and that the kings enumerated reigned over all 


The use of hieroglyphic writing was not confined 
to the sacerdotal class, as was formerly believed on 
the authority of the Greeks, but employed by all. 
Though shorter methods of writing were afterwards 
devised, the hieroglyphic or pictorial representations 
of the language continued in use for important state 
documents, inscriptions, and religious compositions. 
It was accompanied by transcriptions in demotic 
and Greek down to the Roman emperor Decius, 
and, if Lenormant's researches are correct, so late 
as the usurpation of the government of Egypt by 
Achilles, who was put to death by Diocletian, A. D. 

296. The spread of Christianity in Egypt caused 
a proscription of hieroglyphics, because they are 
full of mythological allusions and sensual figures. 
The wants of a reading and writing nation led at an 
early period to the use of linear hieroglyphics in 
long documents, which subsequently developed into 
a cursive hand, called the hieratic. 

"The great body of the Egyptian jiterature," says 
the learned oriental scholar. Rev. John Thein, " has 
reached us through this character, the reading of 
which can only be determined by resolving it first 
into its prototype hieroglyphics. It is not possible 
to fix the time of the first use of hieratic writing, 
but from the actual preservation of several hieratic 
papyri of the eleventh dynasty, presenting it as a 
perfectly distinct and well developed mode of writ- 
ing, it is safe to conclude that it must have come in 
use earlier than 2,000 B. C." 

The demotic denotes a rise of the vulgar tongue 
into literary use, which took place about the begin- 
ning of the. seventh' century B. C., when it was 
brought into fashion by the great social revolution 
in the reign of Psammetik. The oldest papyrus 
found, which is now in tlie Turin museum, dates 
from the forty-fifth year of his reign, or 620 B. C. 
The demotic was used to transcribe the hieroglyphic 
and hieratic papyri and Inscriptions into the vulgar 
idiom till the secolfTd century A. Dvy^nd the gradual 
transition from the obscure and diflicult demotic to 
the more intelligible coptic alphabet. Demotic 
words were occasionally transcribed in Greek letters, 
pure Coptic occasionally in the demotic characters, 
and, again, derr^ptic in Greek letters, with the 
sounds not found in Greek, preserving their 
original signs, which were in reality the Coptic 
alphabet. Coptic is the exclusive character of the 
Christian ICgyptian literature, and marks the last 
development or final decay of the Egyptian lan- 
guage, which became almost extinct in the last 
century, and made way for the Arabic. 

The learned men of the last century who gave 
their attention to Egyptian writings, naturally con- 
sulted the ancient Greek and Roman writers, and 
censequently were led astray. All the ancients 
agreed in speaking of the hieroglyphic system as 
ideographic. They even gave the n»eaning of a 
few signs which are common in the inscriptions, 
and seemed to be well informed as to their interpre- 
tation. As the hieratic and demotic characters 
appeared more cursive and better suited to the 
transcription of long documents, they maintained 
that by means of them the same language was 
written in letters representing sounds. The writ- 
ings of Kircher during the seventeenth century, 
De Guigness and Koch in the eighteenth, and, 
later, those of Zoega, were based on the opinions of 
the Greeks and Romans, and consequently failed to 
throw light on the language. 

An incident took place in 1799 which had the 
effect of chang4ng the whole texture of the ancfent 
speculations on the Egyptian hieroglyphic writ- 
ings. A French engineer officer, M. Broussard, 
while throwing up earthworks at Rosetta (Bashid), 
discovered a large black slab of stone, somewhat 
mutilated, with an inscription in hieroglyphic, 
demotic, and in Greek. The victory of the English 
a few days later threw it into the hands of the 
ambassador, Sir William Hamilton, who deposited 
it in the British Museum. By this accide;it, a text 
was discovered, which the Greek version stated was 
an inscription of divine honors to one of the 
Ptolemies, and that the hieroglyphic and demotic 
versions were transcriptions of the Greek text. 

Although this was a very important aid to the 
Egyptologists, and a hopeful suggestion to a suc- 
cessful solution of those mysterious characters which 
defied the learned of all nations for many centuries, 



[MaklJi, 1S90. 

the difficulty still remained of determining the value 
and sound of each character. It was observed that 
about the place corresponding to the name Ptolemy 
in the Greek version, there was in the hieroglyphic 
inscription an oval ring enclosing a group of char- 
acters. This ring suggested many ideas, but, on 
further researches, it was observed that a long series 
of sitting figures on the temple of Karnak had also 
such rings placed over them, apparently indicating 
their names or titles; therefore, it was conjectured 
that this ring was the sign which indicated the 
proper name. 

Champollion discovered that the Greek proper 
names on the Rosetta stone were transcribed pho- 
netically in the demotic version. These results 
were obtained by guessing that a group occurring 
ih almost every line was the conjunction; that a 
group repeated twenty-nine times in the demotic 
version corresponded to kivg in Greek, when this 
word occurred about the same number of times'; 
and for the words Alexander and Alexandria in the 
fourth and seventeenth lines of the Greek, were 
discovered two groups of equally close resemblance 
n the second and tenth lines of the demotic. 

The next difficulty was to determine the order in 
which the characters were written — which might be 
as in Hebrew from right .to left, or as in modern 
systems from left to right. This point was soon 
settled by Champollion. Mr. Banks brought a little 
obelisk, found in the island of Philae, which was 
inscribed with a dedication in Hebrew and Greek to 
Ptolemy and sister, Cleopatra. This inscription 
was copied by Cailliand in 1816, and commented on 
by Letronne and Champollion in the French scien- 
tific journals in 1822. There was a ring identical 
with the ring for Ptolemy in the Rosetta stone, 
and another for Cleopatra. By a fortunate coinci- 
dence, these names have several letters in common. 
Assuming from the analogy of other systems, that 
objects depicted signified the initial letter of their 
Coptic names, both groups were spelled out, and 
Champollion was in possession of eleven phonetic 
signs of the old Egyptian language. It now became 
plain that in this case the signs were not syllabic, 
but alphabetic. Applying them to monuments 
which appeared to be of the Roman epoch, and 
attempting to decipher the royal rings upon them, 
Champollion found an almost ample list of Roman 
emperors, each with his title, emperor, added ; and 
this title became a clue to all similar inscriptions. 

[Original in Popular Science 2)ew$.l 


It might seem as if the student of Nature would 
find little to do in the depths of winter. He has, 
however, many occupations. In the first place, if 
he is a collector, there are all his summer stores to 
examine. Often, as he turns them over, he is led 
in imagination to the spot where he found them. 
Suppose it is a set of plants he is viewing. Each 
specimen will recall to him pleasant scenes and 
delightful companionship. T,he outside storm no 
longer has a voice for him ; he is in the woods with 
his pets, breathing sweet perfume of leaves and 
flowers, listening to the merry birds, or chasing 
gilded butterflies. The memory of the noonday 
halt comes back to him; the little spring, half 
buried in moss and fringed with ferns, the over- 
arching birches, and the " checquered shade" in 
which he rejoiced. 

But even now, cold as it may be, he who walks 
with his eyes open will see much in the forest that 
is worth possessing. The hazels, alders, and 
birches, the sweet-fern, poplars, willows, iron- 
wood, hop-hornbeam, etc., have all winter shown 
their tassels. They are closely compacted now, 

each scale closing over the minute flowers, but at 
home we can coax out some of them in water. It is 
always a delight to see them evolve, — the light, 
pendulous, graceful "tags" of alder are an especial 
joy. It is a not unusual thing to see the silver- 
leafed maple' {Acer dasycarpum^ in full flower in 
February. It is a frequent shade-tree in the cities, 
and is known at this season by its exfoliating bark, 
and the pendulous habit of the branches. 

Crocuses and snow-drops sometimes shiver into 
bloom on sunny banks before the calendar mentions 
spring. It is not so astonishing after all. Do not 
the 'most delicate of plants embrace the feet of snow- 
drifts in the Alps.' On the top of Mount Washing- 
ton, when the tourist is hugging his overcoat or 
shawl about him, the little Arenaria is fluttering its 
white blossoms in the gale. By the Lake of the 
Clouds, fed by icy streams, which one hears mur- 
muring under the rocks beneath him, there grows a 
perfect garden of flowers. Mosses and licliens we 
have ever with us, clothing the rocks, encrusting 
the trees, spattering the grave-stones, or even 
perching airily on our very house-tops. These are 
the precursors of higher life — living chapters, as it 
were, of that old history which ante-dates the 
coming of man. Tree-ferns, that' tell of the Car- 
boniferous period, do not, after all, inspire one so 
much with awe as these Paleozoic forms. Then, 
how beautiful they are I 

Among mosses the student will flnd miniatures 
of palms and spruces. The Pohjtrichum, indeed, 
will show us a little pine forest, or a further stretch 
of the imagination will convert the clump into an 
army of pygmy spear-men. Do the breezes, we 
wonder, sing in the tiny foliage that sad song that 
the sombre trees have learned from old Ocean ? 

There is no time so good as this for learning the 
actual shape of the trees — when they have, so to 
speak, left off their corsets. Look at the spire of 
that maple, the fountain-spray of that elm, or the 
dark silhouette of yonder rounded horse-chestnut. 
Break off' a branch, tack it to a white .wall, and 
sketch it. What a study of light, and shadow, and 
form : You will discover beauties of which you 
never dreamed. Open the buds, so neatly packed 
in tarpaulins and wool. Here are little leaves, or 
flowers even, so soft and tender that one feels a 
human pang at having revealed them prematurely. 

Life is dormant about us; but, after all, it is life. 
The gray trees are no mere skeletons. Ere long 
their opening hands will beckon us to the woods. 

Brown University, Providence, R. I. 


An Economical Battery. — M. JablochkoflT has 
furnished the Societe des Ingenieurs Civilswith the 
models of a new primary battery consuming iron, 
which he fondly believes will supplant the dynamo. 
The battery is said to be interesting from a theoret- 
ical point of view, but M. Hospitaller, in a note to 
the "Bulletin" of the society, throws a doubt on the 
accuracy of the flgures given by M. Jablochkoff, 
who neglects to give the E. M. F. and consumption 
of the battery, though he states the cost to be two 
to three cents per horse-power per hour. 

Fruit Blossoms. — A chief cause of unfruitful- 
ness is the imperfection of the floral organs of many 
of our fruit trees. In this particular the Russian 
fruits are far superior to most of those of western 
Europe, or of this continent. They are mostly 
vigorously self-fertilizing, and bear full crops on 
solitary trees. Yellow Transparent, Tetofsky, Ol- 
denburgh, Longfield, Antonovkai Switzer, Titus, 
Prolific Sweeting, St. Peter, Alexander, and many 
other Russian apples, are sure croppers for this 
reason, and large croppers, too. Russian crosses 

will greatly benefit all our tree fruits, by infusing 
their wonderful vigor into their progeny. 

A 'Variable Star. — Professor Vogel, the German 
astronomer, has recently made an interesting dem- 
onstration of the existence of a companion to the 
big variable star Algol, from photogfaphs of the 
star's spectrum. Algol is one hundred and thirty- 
four times as large as the earth, but suflFers a partjal 
eclipse at short and regular intervals, wheiv it loses 
about. five-sixths of its brilliancy, and falls from a 
star of the second magnitude to one of the fourth 
magnitude. Professor 'Vogel demonstrates by pho- 
tographs of its spectra, what was before suspected, 
that Algol has a dark satellite, a hundred times as 
large as the earth, and moving at a speed of fifty- 
six miles per second, the interposition of which 
between us and the big star perfectly accounts for 
its remarkable rariations. 

The Cost of Atlantic Racing. — The recent 
breakdown of one set of the engines of the " City of 
New York" affords a startling illustration of the 
enormous cost at which the fast records of ocean 
racers are obtained. During a trip eastward, one of 
the crank pins of the port engines was broken, and 
the trip was finished »ith the starboard engines 
alone. Comparing the three days' run with the 
single set of engines to a corresponding period on 
the previofis voyage with both engines, we find the 
average ratio of the speeds in the two cases was 
0.S20 to I. When they consider that the loss of 
one-half the propelling power had the effect of 
reducing the speed by only 18 per cent., the pro- 
moters of the line of 2S-knot steamships will have 
some idea of the cost of their projected scheme. 


Vegetable Hybrids. — An agricultural exchange 

says : There Is a class of vegetables that mix badly 
when in bloom, and which in one season become 
almost worthless. We allude to the various vines. 
Farmers and gardeners de not, as a rule, exercise 
enough care in planting them. Take, for instance, 
the several varieties of squashes. They should be 
planted quite a distance apart. Last autumn, while 
attending a fair, we noticed an exhibit of squashes 
marked Hubbards, which were yellow, showing 
that they had been planted too near the Marrow, as . 
they had all the characteristics of that variety. 
Squashes should never be planted near pumpkins, 
watermelons near citrons, or cucumbers near musk- 
melons. If so planted, they will in one season 
become worthless hybrids. Too much care could 
not be exercised in this matter, and the farmer 
should give careful attention to planting, or the 
whole crop may be a loss. 

Dangerous Fun. — Professor Cook, the chemistry 
professor of Harvard College, has a reputation for 
facetiousness, and his lectures are highly popular, 
though the attraction appears to partake somewhat 
of the fearsomeness with which little children pay 
their first visit to Madame Tussaud's Chamber of 
Horrors. One of his lectures, says the Toronto 
Mail, is devoted to dangerous explosives, and a stir 
always goes over the room when he picks up a 
bottle labelled nitro-glycerine. When he takes the 
bottle and holds it up, the yellow liquid stirring 
with the shaking of his hand, he always says some- 
thing like this : " Now, gentlemen, it is commonly 
believed that if I were to drop this little bottle, we 
should all be blown to the skies (his hand trembles 
a little more, and timid freshmen look longingly at 
the door) ; but if this compeund is pure, — perfectly 
pure, mind you, — I can light a match with perfect 
safety and thrust it down the neck of the bottle." 
Here he feels for a match. "But," he instantly 
adds, "I am free to confess that I have not enough 
confidence in its purity to try the experiment." 
(Many sighs of relief.) 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 



Practical CljorQlstry and tlje ]?Irts. 


A BEAUTIFUL bluc mineral, known as lapis- 
lazuli, occurs rather sparingl3', which has 
been used for many years in the manufacture 
of pigments for artists. . Little preparation is 
needed, beyond finely grinding and separat- 
ing it from the gaiigue, or rock in which it 
is found. Its magnificent blue color is all 
the more remarkable in that it contains 
neither copper, cdbalt, nor any other metal 
forming colored salts, but is simply a silicate 
of aluminium afid other bases, containing 
also a certain amount of sulphur, both as 
sulphates and sulphides, to which the color 
is probably due. 

The great beauty of this ultramarine, as it 
was called, and also its scarcity and conse- 
quent high cost, early led to attempts to 
produce the compound iirtificially. . Its com- 
position was known from analysis, and from 
this an empirical formula was deduced, and 
a mixture of China clay, sodic sulphate and 
carbonate, coal, ancU sulphur w.ns strongly 
heated in a closed crucible, the resulting mass 
proving to be a very good article of artificial 
ultramarine. This is one of the few qases 
where "the rule of thumb" gives results 
wliich would not have been anticipated from 
a theoretical consideration of the principals 

Artificial ultramarine was first prc|>nred by 
Cmclin, in 1S23, and in 1S2S it was made at 
Lyons on a commercial scale. Since then 
the. production has greatly -increased, and 
enormous quantities are now annually pro- 
duced, and from its cheapness it has largely 
replaced such pignlents as smalt (cobalt), 
litmus, and Prussian blue. The process of 
manufacture varies in difierent factories, but 
is essentially that given above, where the 
constituents, as shown by analysis, are mixed 
together and ignited in closed crucibles. In 
one process, a green ultramarine is first 
obtained, which is roasted with access . of 
air and additional sulphur to convert it into 
the blue variety ; but the mixture is also 
made so as to form the blue variety at the 
first ignition. Artificial ultramarine is quite 
stable imder ordinary conditions, but it is 
readilv affected bj' even weak acids, which 
destroy the color. Natural lapis-lazuli is not 
affected in this way, showing that there is 
some chemical or molecular difference be- 
tween them. A similar acid-proof variety is 
occasionally produced artificially in the fur- 
naces, but the conditions governing its pro- 
duction are not known. 

The chemical constitution of ultramarine, 
and the cause of its blue color, are not well 
understood. According to the experiments 
of Stein, it consists chiefly of a white mass, 
with which black sulphide of aluminium is 
intimately and molecularly incorporated, the 

blue color being due, not to chemical com 
position, but to the optical relations of the 
component substances. Green ultramarine 
contains less soda and more sulphur than 
the blue. The native ultramarine surpasses 
the artificial in beauty and softness of color, 
and is still used by artists, and for purposes 
where the artificial product is unsuitable. 


Umder the phonetic name of Wryteezy^ 
the London Industries^ describes an ingenious 
and useful, though rery simple, invention, by 
which one can write in a carriage or on 
the cars without anj- disturbance from the 
motion, even when travelling over the rough- 
est roads. The writing-desk, as shown in 
the engraving, consists of a light piece of 
wood, the lower part of which is attached 
to the arm by an elastic band. The upper 
part is supported by two cords (not elastic) 


which are attached to a point at some dis- 
tance above the writer's head. By this 
arrangement, all movements of the vehicle, 
paper, and fingers are rendered synchronous, 
or occur at the same time and in the same 

Everyone who has tried to write on the 
cars knows what an exasperating and.imsat- 
isfactory operation it is, and this simple little 
devite — which can be made by anyone, and 
carried in an ordinary hand-bag — will be of 
great service to those who have occasion to 
make many railroad joinneys. 

A New Way of Preparing Hydrogen is de- 
scribed' by J. Haderniann as follows : A granulated 
alloy of tin and zinc, containing about 83 per cent, 
of ilie latter metal, is prepared by adding zinc to 
molten tin as dissolves in tlie liquid metal. 
The product is recommended for the production of 
hydrogen. The pieces retain their shape and size 
after all the zinc is dissolved out by acid. 

[Original in PojmUir Sci*>nce New8.\ 



So much attention was given to this branch of 
science, and so much progress was made, that only 
a very brief survey of the field can be made in this 

The Greeks began at very early times to observe 
the heavens, and to distinguish the heavenly bodies 
froin one another. In the poems of Homer mention 
is made of the Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Sirius, the 
Great Bear, and Arcturus. The morning and even- 
ing stars are spoken of, but their identity is not 
suspected. The earth is conceived to be a disc, 
around which flows the stream of Oceanus. Thales 
of Miletus, one of the " Seven Wise Men of Greece," 
who lived at the end of the seventh century before 
our era, looked on the heavens as a hollow sphere 
divided into five zones. He discovered the true 
causes of the phases of the moon, and of eclipses, 
and is said to have foretold an eclipse of the sun 
which occurred during the reign of Alyattes of 
Lydia, in the year 609. Anaximander, his great 
successor, held that the earth had the form of a 
cylinder, suspended in the middle of the universe, 
and that men dwelt on its base.' It was surrounded 
by water, air, and fire in successive layers. This 
fire, shining through different openings, took the 
form of the sun, the moon, and the stars. The first 
to turn his attention to the planets was Anaxi- 
menes. He looked on them as flat- discs, supported 
by the air between the earth and the arch of hea\^n. 
Heracleitos believed that the. heavenly bodies were 
shaped like cups. When these were turned towards 
the earth, they caught its vapors, which took fire 
and reflected their flame. When they were turned 
from the earth, darkness ensued. Bv the time of 
.Vnaxagoras, who lived in the fifth century before 
our era, the spherical form of the earth was known. 

The first to elaborate a regular cosmic system 
was, apparently, Pythagoras, although it is dilficult 
to distinguish hi§ own personal work from that of 
his successors. This system, as finally elaborated, 
was as follows : In the center was an ever-burning 
fire, not the same as the sun. Around it revolved 
the sun, the moon, the earth, the five planets 
(Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury), and 
the sphere containing the fixed stars. There was 
assumed to be a counter-earth, — probably merely to 
make up the niynber ten, — which was distinct from 
the earth itself, but always moved parallel to it at a 
distance of 180°. Pythagoras defined the inclina- 
tion of the courses of the planets ai?d of the ecliptic. 
Aristarchus of Samos, in the fourth century B. C., 
first made the sun the center of the universe. 
Copernicus mentions three other Greeks as prede- 
cessors of his in this regard. 

Aristotle wrote a work in four books on astronomy. 
He gives various proofs of the spherical shape of the 
earth, among others the circular shape of the edge 
of the earth's shadow in a partial eclipse of the 
moon. He also discusses comets and meteors, and 
the nature of the milky way, which he believed to 
be formed of luyriads of small stars. Aratus, an 
Alexandrine astronomer of the same century, gave 
especial attention to the constellations, whose form 
and location in the heavens he describes in a 
didactic poem. 

Many attempts were made to ascertain the size 
of the earth. The method of Eratosthenes was, 
perhaps, the most ingenious. He was informed 
that at Syene in upper Egypt, near the modern 
town of Assouan, deep wells were lighted to their 
bottoms at the time of the summer solstice, and 



[iMarcii, 1S90. 

that vertical objects cast no shadows. He observed 
the inclination of the sun in Alexandria (;2), and 
got the distance from Syene to Alexandria (d) from 
the Egyptian tribute-lists. He then calculated the 
circumference of the earth (it) from the proportion 

,1 : d=i6o° : z° 

His result was 250,000 stadia. We do not know 
what stadium he used, but in any case (the stadium 
is, roughly, an eighth of a mile) his result was a 
creditable one, considering the means he employed. 

To discuss, even briefly, the discoveries and theo- 
ries of Ptolemaius (Ptolemy), would be to write a 
history of astronomy. The chronicle of the science 
for many centuries consists merely of comments on 
liis works. 

The Romans did but little in astronomy. That 
they were not keen observers is sufficiently shown 
by the fact that for nearly one hundred years they 
used a sun-dial brought from Catania in Sicily as a 
public time-piece, without noticing the errors due to 
the height of the gnomon, which was intended for a 
more southern latitude. Their most distinguished 
astronomer was Julius Ctesar, whose reform of 
the calendar is too well known to be more than 
alluded to. 


Intercourse with Egypt led the Greeks at an early 
period to speculations about the causes of the rising 
of the Nile. The great traveller and historian, 
Herodotus, mentions three views which were cur- 
rent in his time.. Two, he says, are hardly worth 
mentioning, while the third (that it is caused by the 
melting of great quantities of snow) he objects to, 
oi»account of the heat of Libya, which would make 
the existence of snow impossible. The real expla- 
nation had its advocates in very early times. The 
alluvial formation of the Nile delta is also referred 
to by Herodotus. 

Earthquakes, which have always been common in 
Greece, early became the objects of investigation. 
Anaximander thought them caused by rifts in the 
earth, the result of long droughts; while Anax- 
agoras believed that masses of air imprisoned in the 
earth and trying to force their way out, were the 
cause of these disturbances. Aristotle agrees with 
this latter theory. Aristotle also considers the 
question of the saltness of the sea, which he thinks 
due to chemical changes wrought vby the sun when 
the water is taken up by it. He believes it can be 
got rid of by filtration and boiling. Strabo first 
observed the fall in temperature as the elevation 
increases, and the fact that tree's were confined to 
certain elevations as well as to certain latitudes. 

Among the Romans, Seneca is the foremost 
Avriter on physical geography. In' his A'aturales 
Qucestiones he discusses the erosive force of water, 
both mechanically and chemically. He observes 
that the spring tides are caused by the attraction of 
both sun and moon together. He defines volcanoes 
scientifically, distinguishing them from subterra- 
nean fires. He does not believe that the earth is a 
mass of fire within, but that there are collections of 
fire in dift'erent parts of its crust. On the subject of 
earthquakes he agrees with Anaxagoras and Aris- 
totle, but considers the imprisoned force to be gas 
or vapor rather than air. 

In the science of navigation little progress was 
made, since voyages were only along the coast. In 
the open sea "dead-reckoning" (by course and dis- 
tance) was employed, the distance being merely 
inferred, while the course was got from the constel- 
lations. Lighthouses and beacons are of ancient 
date, and charts were employed at a comparatively 
early period. 


The industrious Pliny was the first to collect the 

results reached on this subject. He knew a great 
many varieties, although, of course, not the metals 
(like platinum, cobalt, nickel,"" etc.) which are Qot 
found in the Grecian and Italian mountains. He 
enumerated most of the signs by which mineralo- 
gists today distinguish different varieties — shape of 
crystals, cleavage, hardness, color, transparency, 
weight, lustre, and grain. 


The Greeks were probably led to the study of this 
science by the Egyptians, who turned their attention 
to it at a very early date. They found a richly 
developed flora in their own country, "hlthough 
many forms of vegetation, associated in our minds 
with the name of Hellas, first found their way there 
from the East, in coiTiparatively late times. The 
natural philosophers were too much taken up with 
the consideration of larger subjects to give much 
attention to the study of vegetable life, but the 
extensive use of plants for medicinal purposes must 
have led to a considerable knowledge of the subject. 
Aristotle wrote a Theory of Plants, which seems, 
however, to deal mainly with the analogies and 
contrasts between plants and animals. Theophras- 
tus of Lesbos, in the fourth century before our era, 
wrote a work in nine books on botany, in which he 
considers the anatomy and physiology of plants, 
and their dependence on climate and cultivation. 
The Alexandrines confined themselves to the rela- 
tion of botany to medicine, and the same is true of 
the Romans. 


The knowledge of the ancients in this branch 
of science was by no means insignificant, and inter- 
est in it was kept up by the chase, and the popularity 
of fights between wild beasts in later Roman times. 
One writer, Aristotle, treats the subject so ex- 
haustively that his successors did no more than 
comment on his work. He knew five hundred dif- 
ferent varieties of animals, not all of which can be 
exactly identified at the present day. Much that is 
common now-a-days was unknown to him. He 
knew but four species of apes, 9nd nothing at all 
about the man-monkeys. His knowledge of reptiles 
and their geographical distribution is very limited. 
Fishes, from gastronomic reasons, were better 
known. Of the lowest forms of animal life there 
was no knowledge at all in ancient times. Aristotle 
is said to have been fHrnished with material for 
study by his pupil, Alexander the Great, but he 
appears from his description never to have seen an 
elephant or an ostrich. He studied the internal 
structure of animals also, but was hampered in his 
investigations by the preconceived notion that the 
heart was the centre of the nervous system. We are 
unable to learn just How much he did know of this 
branch of the subject, as his special book on The 
Anatomy of Animals is known to us only by its 
title. Pliny gave four books of his Natural History 
to animals, but is in no way original. ^Elian 
describes some new varieties, especially of fishes. 

Solidification of Nitrous Acid. — To solidify 
anhydrous nitrous acid, though still containing 
small quantities of hyponitric acid, there is required 
a temperature of — 52° to — 54*^0., obtained by the 
evaporation of methyl chloride in a current of dry 
air. To obtain anhydrous nitrous acid free from 
hyponitric acid, Fl. Birhans has operated similarly 
to Fritsche, but at a lower temperature. It.forms a 
fine blue liquid, which was solidified only by the 
cold produced by a mixture of methyl chloride and 
carbonic acid in the flocciilent state. This mixture, 
according to the experiments of MM. Cailletet and 
Colardeau, lowers the temperature to 82" below 

Tlje Out-Door morUl. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
.[P. O. Address, Pittsfield, Mass.] 

It is pleasant to know that the new 
arrangement, by which the Agassiz Associa- 
tion has secured a departnient in this journal, 
and also one for the voungcr memliers in 
Santa Clans, is proving popular. At a 
meeting of the New York Assembly of the 
A. A., a unanimous vote was passed endors- 
ing the plan, and recommending all Chapters 
to appoint committees to solicit subscriptions 
from members and friends. This recom- 
mendation has been promptly accepted by a 
large niuriber of Chai^ters, and a veiy grar1f\- 
ing addition has already been made to the 
readers of both these excellent magazines. 
Mr. W. T. Dcmarest, President of the Man- 
hattan Chapter, No. 20, of New York, one 
of our oldest and strongest branches, writes : 
"As President of the Manhattan Chapter, I 
wish to assure you that your plan has our 
hearty approval, and tlwt we sliall do all that 
in us lies to make it a success." 

We wish every Chapter, and each member, 
to take a personal interest in " IMie Out-Door 
World," and feel, in a measure, responsible 
for it. Let each be "on the lookout" for 
interesting facts, particularly such as come 
under his own observation ; and let him send 
us as promptly as possible an accurate state- 
ment of whatever he finds that is ciuioiis or 
new to him. Whenever you can add to yoiu" 
notes, pictures of the t>bjects or phenomena 
described, it will greatly cniiance their value. 
These pictures may be photographs, line- 
drawings in india-ink, — w hich are the best if 
well done, — or pencil sketches, from which 
our artist may "catch the idea." It is a good 
plan to carr}- a note-book in the pocket, and 
thus be ready to jot down notes of what you 
see at the time you see it. Then, if you can 
send them to us the same day, so nuich the 

Mr. Fred E. Keay, one of our wide- 
awake members, is engaged in a work which 
may well be imdertaken by others, each in 
his own neighborhood. "I have in mind," 
he writes, "to make a set of photographs of 
our native trees, selecting as fine representa- 
tives of each as I can find." If this plan 
could be thoroughly carried out, and if to the 
photograph of the tree, were added photo- 
graphs of details, — such as leaves, flowers, 
fruit, bark, grain of wood, insect visitors, 
attached ne.sts, etc., — a valuable contribution 
to science would result. 

A WORD of special welcome must be 
spoken to Chapter 771, of Adelaide, Austra- 
lia, and also to the two Russian Chapters, ' 

Von. XXIV. No. 3.] 



— S16, Sliargorod, Podolsk, Russia, Sasha 
Shei^Dtieff, Secretary ; and 525, Savinstzy, 
Poltava, Russia, Miss Julia Lcsscvitch, 
Secretary, — and to 752, of Tnskegec, Ala- 
bama. Of the first, the President is Mr. W. 
Catton Grasby, a member of the Royal 
Society of Australia. Mr. Grasby has been 
at the head of a Field-Club of Young Natu- 
ralists in Australia for some time — a club 
quite similar in its plan and objects to our 
Association. Hs has lately made a tour of 
the United States, partly in order to study 
our methods of scientific a ad industfial edu- 
cation, and he soon heard of the Agassiz 
Association. It appealed t« him at once, 
because it reminded him of his own society 
in Australia, and so he made many inquiries 
about it, paid 3'our President a most delight- 
ful visit, and, as he bade us good-bye, he 
said : "You may enroll our Field-Club as a 
Chapter of your Association. Put us down 
to start with at a hundred members. After I 
get back we shall soon send a larger list. 
We are your first branch in Australia, and 
we will do our best to be an honor to the 
Association." The two Chapters that come 
to us from the far interior of Russia, ai'e the 
first ever formed in that great empire, and 
they are desirous of corresponding with some 
of our American Chapters, with a view to 
exchanging specimens, and becoming ac- 
quainted with American thought. The last 
Chapter is established in connection with that 
well-known and most interesting college at 
Tuskegec, wlTich has the sympathy and good 
will of all who know its history. 

It is quite impossible to print all the 
excellent reports which come to us from our 
active Chapters. We therefore shall select, 
hereafter, those which reach us most 
proniply, and which contain most matter 
of general interest. While, therefore, it will 
be no reflection upon any Chapter, if its 
report should be crowded out, it may be 
considered a special commendation whenever 
a report is crowded in ! 

806, Morristown, N. J., [A]. — Our Chapter has 
offered a prize to the member who shall hand in the 
best note-book of personal observations. In July, 
nine of our members went into camp at Lake 
Hopatcong, N. J. This lake is about nine miles 
long and two and a half wide. We had a delightful 
and novel time. During the year we have held 
twenty-five meetings, and have gained four new 
' members.— Ridley Watts, 48 Hill Street, Cor. Sec. 

811, Nyack, N. Y., [A]. — Number of meetings 
held during the year, nineteen. The subject for one 
evening was " Cotton." We had specimens of the 
plant in its various stages of development, also the 
raw and manufactured products of the same. At 
another meeting, the habits- and appearance of 
many of the fresh-water infusoria were described, 
and illustrated by drawings made directly from 
nature. A talk on corals interested us another 

evening, and beautiful specimens were shown. 
Again, we listened to a lecture on the "Geological 
Evidences of Evolution," illustrated by drawings. 
Other subjects have been: "The History of the 
Obelisk;" and "A Practical Lesson on the Crab," 
with specimens in the hands of the members. Dr. 
Hensoldt, of Columbia College, kindly gave us a 
most interesting lecture on "Star-Fish, Encrinoids, 
and Sea-Urchins;" anc| Mr. Lilley, for many j'ears 
a resident of Japan, spoke to us on the " Education 
and Life of the Japanese." W£ devoted one evening 
to a microscopical exhibition. These are, of course, 
only a few of the topics that have engaged our 
attention, but they may give a notion of our general 
work. Besides all special topics, each member is 
expected to bring a specimen, concerning which he 
either gives or asks information. The new year 
brings us an addition to our membership, and all 
promise* well. — Emma Partridge, Sec. 

833, Fall River, Mass., [C]. (Massachusetts 
Archa;ological Chapter.) — Our membership is 
composed of amateur archaeologists of Massachu- 
setts. We began on the first of May, with five 
members, and have gained one. We were organ- 
ized just before the long summer vacation, and are 
now only fairly in working order. We shall be 
glad to correspond with all who are interested in 
archicology. — Lynward French, Box 45, Fall River, 

834, Peru. Indiana, [BJ. — Each of our members 
has been studying some branch of natural science, 
both by reading and by personal observation. One 
member, for example, has been studying plants, — 
visiting certain marked plants once a week, noting 
the progress of their development, and making 
careful sketches and notes; another has made a col- 
lection of seeds of the plants in this region. — ^J. E. 
Walter, Sec. 

S49, Boston, Mass., [H]. — Although wur time for 
study is limited, our interest does not flag. Last 
winter we took Professor Crosby's course in miner- 
alogy, and this year we are attending his lectures. — 
Abbie F. Brown, Sec. 

S62, New York, N. Y., [W].— We have now 
eleven members. We have held meetings every 
two weeks. A botanizing excursion to Fordham 
was one of the pleasantest events of the year. We 
are now studying mineralogy. — Florence L. Jack- 
son, Sec. 

867, Elizabeth, N. J., [C]. — Since our last report, 
we have changed our Chapter room from our Secre- 
tary's home to a room in one of our grammar 
schools, where we have better accommodations, and 
the use of the larger class-rooms for open meetings. 
By thus meeting in a more public place, we'hope to 
gain a finner foothold, and to interest mere people 
in the work of the A. A. The number of active 
members remains the same, bufwe have added sev- 
eral to our honorary list — among them the princi- 
pals of three of our schools. In April, two Chau- 
tauqua Circles joined us in one of our meetings, 
where we compared work and exchanged fraternal 
greetings ; and in May, the State Assembly met with 
us. We have been represented in all the meetings 
of the "Hill and Dale Club," and many observa- 
tions have been made and specimens gained in this 
way. In the new Chapter room, cabinets have 
been built, and now contain — besides those yet to be 
determined and classified — 127 mineralogical speci- 
mens, 50 kinds of weod, and, in the herbarium, 155 
mounted specimens. The various stages of the 
process of refining crude petroleum are represented 
by sixteen samples. These show the process re- 
quired to make not only one kind of refined oil, but 

the way in which the process is varied in order to 
make oils for different purposes. Crude petroleum, 
as it comes from the Bradford oil-wells, embraces in 
its composition all the varied products in the form 
of lubricating oils, wax, or illuminating oils. The 
first product from the distillation of crude oil is very 
light naphtha. As distillation progresses, the pro- 
ducts become of heavier gravity, and vary in color 
from a yellow tinge to a white, clear oil, followed bv 
products of a bluish cast. For each brand of refined 
oil, a distillate of a certain color and gravity is 
required. After all vapor has been drawn from the 
crude oil, a tar remains, which, when distilled at a 
high temperature, yields lubricating oils. These, 
as they distill, are nearly congealed with paraffine, 
whj^li is pressed out, leaving clear, cold, test oil. 
Our samples include : 
Brudfard crude. 

Light naphtha Gravity 7J' neaiimc 

Heavy " " 65 to fiS" " 

Light distillate " Jo to 60 ." 

Water-white distillate *' ^jj to 50 ** 

He.-ivy " " 40 to 45 " 

Refined oil, regular " 44.5 '* 

" " water-white " 4S.5 •• 

Tar " 20 

Lubricating oil, unpressed and untreated. 
' " . " pressed " *' 

" " " " treated. * 

Wool oil. 

Crude scale, or unrefined paraftine, pressed from oil. 
Refined wax, or steam-treated and refined paraftine. 

Among the apparatus constructed by one of our 
members, we have a microphone, for making low- 
sounds more distinctly audible; and a galvanome- 
ter, for detecting the existence and determining the 
strength and direction of an electric current. — 
Lilian Faulks, Sec, 134 Broad Street; F. B. Kelley, 
Pres., 1061 E. Jersey Street. 

576, Peru, Indiana, [C].— Our society is consid- 
erably scattered, but the work is going on just as 
vigorously as ever. The President of the society is 
.in Albion, Michigan, attending college, the Treas- 
urer is in Chicago, and the other members are 
scattered. The Secretary has, since last January, 
kept up a scientific column in a county paper, and 
has endeavored, as far as possible, to fill it with 
articles by local writers. Qiiite an interest has 
been awakened all over the county, and the Secre- 
tary has been amply repaid for his la,bor by the 
specimens — principally relics of the Stone Age — 
that have been contributed to the scientific editor; 
and. this work, arising out of an interest in the 
Agassiz Association, is accomplishing much good. 
— G. B. Lockwood, Sec. 

577, Providence, R. I., [E].— We have worked up 
the fossil Carboniferous flora of our State prettv 
thoroughly, and have a fine collection, with dupli- 
cates to dispose of We have also added many 
species to the Carboniferous fauna of the State, 
including several insects and Crustacea. — Russell 
W. Knight, 190 Broadway, Pres. ; F. P. Gorham, 
103 Knight Street, Sec. 


SSo, Grand Rapids, Mich., [C]. — For the past 
year, our Chapter has been exceptionally busy. 
During that tiine we have added to our collection, 
125 species of Michigan birds, including 332 speci- 
mens; about 30 new kinds of insects; some miner- 
als, and 21 new species of birds' eggs. We have 
made many interesting discoveries and observa- 
tions, one of which was the finding of a nest and 
the young of the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, which had 

never been observed before in the United States. 

T. Gilbert White, Sec. 

S82, Bedford, N. Y., [A].— For several inonths 
there have been only irregular meetings of oiir 
society, dming which a few geological specimens 



[March, 1S90. 

and fossils, have been exhibited, and various plants 
shown and named. A collection of our native 
grasses, hy Miss D. Marble, has advanced to forty 
varieties. Our herbarium contains thirty-two spec- 
imens. Our President gave' us an interesting 
lecture on geology, and a friend gave us an illus- 
trated lecture on the use of the blow-pipe in miner- 
alogy. The society was broken up by the removal 
of our Secretary and four or five members, and 
reorganized on November 6 on a different basis. 
Our members are now all adults, and we hope to do 
some more serious work. — Mrs. Lea Luquer, Sec. 

SS7, Grinnell, Iowa, [A]. — During the year, our 
Chapter has gained six active members. Two 
members spent the summer travelling in this ^tate 
and Nebraska and South Dakota. They sent home 
very interesting accounts of their travels, and many 
fine specimens. The members at home have been 
busy with the work of the Chapter. In the spring 
they found five birds never seen here before, and 
found the nests of four not before known to breed 
here. Several new and rare species of butterflies 
were collected. Six members attended the Sixth 
Convention of the Iowa Chapters, at Oskaloosa, in 
August. Our Chapter was awarded first honor for 
work done. We have divided our work into depart- 
ments, each department being given to two or more 
members. We are still working for the government 
under the departments of bird migration and for- 
estry. — Lynds Jones, Sec, Box 1766, Grinnell, Iowa. 

891, Schenectady, N. Y., [B]. — We have gained 
three new members during the year. The prepara- 
tion of note-books is now in progress, the member 
having the best to be exempted Irom all Chapter 
dues for six months. Our meetings, in which the 
greatest interest is taken, are held twice a month in 
the Union School Building. — S. Frances Winans, 
159 Lafayette Street, Sec. 

A CORDIAL invitation is extended to all our 
readers to join the Agassiz Association. 
Blanks for application will be furnished on 
request. 'Address all communications for this 
department to Harlan H. Ballard, President 
of the Agassiz Association, Pittstield, Mass. 
^ ^ 

[Written for "The Out-Door World."] 




The first steps on German soil made by the 
arriving traveller, or "einwanderer," as they pic- 
turesquely call him, cannot oft'er anything very 
remarkable for the camera. Bremerhaven, the port 
of Bremen, is a dull seaport town, and almost the 
only objects of interest are the docks and yards of 
the North German Lloyd Steamship Company. 
These, however, will repay a visit to those inter- 
ested in marine matters. Subjects for the camera 
might be found here, but not the characteristic and 
beautiful ones of other cities and towns. A ride of 
about seventeen miles by rail brings us to Bremen, 
and here we immediately find ourselves in a city 
thoroughly European in character. The guide- 
books give short historical sketches of these old and 
famous towns, which should by no means be ne- 
glected, and 'this reading will at once make plain 
how and why the present beautiful " Contrescarpe," 
planted with fine old trees, came to take the place of 
the old city walls of the middle ages. 

Those who stay at Hillmann's Hotel on the Con- 
trescarpe, will find themselves well and centrally 
situated for excursions about the town, both in the 

old and the new quarters, and will also enjoy the 
great treat of occasionally hearing the fine military 
band play. The musicians are under strict army 
discipline, and are frequently ordered out to the 
Contrescarpe to play on Sund.iys in the forenoon, 
and sometimes, also, on week days, quite early in 
the morning. I was awakened about seven in the 
morning from my first night's rest in the Father- 
land, by this incomparable band, consisting entirely 
of wind instruments. Although greatly fatigued 
from the previous daj', the interruption to my sleep 
was a most welcome one. These open-air concerts 
have for years been a feature of German life, and 
those of our young friends — and older ones, too, for 
that matter — who are musically inclined, will find 
them very delightful. 

A short walk through the quaint, narrow streets 
brings us to the Rathhaus Platz. This is a very 
picturesque place; the Cathedral is at one end, and 
the curious old Rathhaus, or State House, at the 
side, with a colossal statue just in front, that adds 
not a little to the picturesque, old-world, and 
thoroughly German appearance of the square. A 
very effective view of this fine old building may be 
taken from the opposite side of the square, from a 
sort of raised stoop in front of the shops; and 
another one from the extreme left-hand side of the 
Cathedral, opposite the Exchange. This view will 
give the end of the Rathhaus, with the principal 
(acade nicely foreshortened, and a glimpse down the 
street leading from the square to the Church of St. 
Ausgarius, the tower of which makes a pretty bit of 
distance in the picture. If the front of the Rath- 
haus is attempted, it should be done before noOn, 
and care taken to choose a time when there is no 
market being held in the square. The farmers put 
up umbrellas, and have heaps of stuff of all sorts 
littering up the pavement, and it makes a very poor 
foreground for such a fine specimen of ancient 
German architecture. Permission from the town 
authorities could doubtless be obtained to make 
views of the great hall on the second fioor of the 
building. However this may be, the visitor should 
by no means neglect to visit the cellar of the build- 
ing. The Bremen Rathskeller is famous for its 
great wine casks, second in antiquity and capacity 
only to the great tun at Heidelberg. The cellar is 
used as a restaurant, and the great casks are shown 
on payment of a small fee. 

The Cathedral is rather a plain structure, com- 
pared to many of the continental churches, but it 
has an imposing appearance on the square; and a 
visit to the crypt, where the air is so dry that bodies 
are said to keep indefinitely without decomposition, 
will repay the curious. 

The country around Bremen has numerous 
features in common with Holland, although the 
ground does not lie quite so low. To put a photo- 
graphic meaning to this expression, let me say that 
there is absolutely nothing to take, save here and 
there a thatched barn with its cross-timbers, and an 
occasional windmill. These windmills, however, 
are fi-equently very picturesque, and some of the 
larger ones quite imposing. A good-specimen will 
well be worth an exposure. The question might 
arise, whether to take it while at rest, or to try an 
instantaneous exposure while the huge arms were 
rapidly turning. I must leave this to the amateur 
to decide for himself, merely hinting that the latter 
will require a very quick shutter and a quick plate. 
These mills, even when quiet, . are picturesque 
objects; and a nice, sharp negative, with the expos- 
ure well timed, and a sky with clouds back of the 
arms, relieving their delicate wood-work, will be a 
very pretty addition to the stock of negatives. 

My route led me from Bremen to Dresden, via 
Leipzig. Those who may follow in this track will 

find much to interest them in a city like Leipzig, in 
an historical point of view, and some fine modern 
buildings to photograph. The new Book Exchange 
makes a very fine picture, and there are numerous 
private houses that are beautiful enough to devote a 
plate or two to. There are but few ancient build- 
ings of any interest here. 

In Dresden, there are plenty oC subjects. The 
Russian Chapel is a beautiful specimen of its class, 
and makes a very effective photograph, as I can say 
from my own experience. The various churches, 
also, are picturesque, and may be conveniently 
photographed, owing to there being plenty of space 
around them. None but those who have experi- 
enced the difficulties of getting good photographic 
views of buildings when obliged to work "close-on," 
as it is tecjinically termed, can fully appreciate the 
value of these open spaces. 

A few days' work in Dresden, and I was obliged to 
leave for the charming old town of Nuremberg, of 
which I will speak in my next. 


Sulphite of Soda in Developing. — Having 
found on analysis that numerous .samples of sul- 
phite of soda, sold as chemically pure, contained 
carbonate of soda, I have worked with a specially 
prepared sample, absolutely free from carbonate. 
One hundred c. cm. of a 25 per cent, solution of 
this salt, with 1% grammes of Pyro. added, devel- 
oped the picture under normal conditions (.'), more 
slowly, indeed, than the commercial salt, or than a 
bath to which carbonate of soda had been added ; 
by allowing time, the required density is obtained. 
The fog appearing on under-exposed and over- 
developed plates is not seen when using this 
developer. Plates exposed in the worst possible 
light have been left soaking in this developer for 
from eight to nine hours w;ithout veiling or frilling. 
The solution may be used repeatediv, and in well- 
corked bottles will keep for a long time. I have 
kept a bath for five months in which eight to ten 
plates had been developed ; there was hardly any 
discoloration, and it worked as well as a fresh solu- 
tion. After many trials, I have come to the conclu- 
sion that the above conditions are the best, and that 
carbonate of soda should only be added when the 
development proceeds too slowly. — P.\UL Poire, in 
Annals of the French Academy of Sciences. 

We have frequently in these columns deprecated 
the use of ruby light in the developing-rooni, on 
account of tli£ strain upon the eyesight. Every 
now and then we find ourselves supported in this 
view by the experience of some operator of ability, 
or even of world-wide fame. An article in the 
Archiv, describing the studio of Schaarwachter, in 
Berlin, says: "In the dark-rooms the work is not 
done>by ruby light, but by a combination of green, 
orange, and opal glass, which admits a light almost 
white. It not only saves the eyes, but makes it 
much easier to observe and control the develop- 

Those of our readers who are old-fashioned 
enough to possess a rolling-press for prints, will be 
pleased to know that it has been recommended as a 
speciallv valuable form of physical exercise by high 
medical authorities. They declare that there is no 
class of machines, in the use of which an equal 
amount of bodily can be expended in a 
given time without over-fatigue, to compare with 
those worked by a winch, or — what amounts to the 
same thing — by the turning of a large wheel by a 
handle. The theory is, that the whole muscular 
system is brought into play, but particularly those 
portions about the hips, the spine, and the arms. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 

Slie Popular Science I^ews. 

BOSTON, MARCH i, 1890. 


merits. No punishment would be too severe 
for the person who would knowingly sell 
this murderous mixture for such a purpose. 



.... EtlUor. 
Associate Editor. 

It is with deep regret that we announce 
the death of Dr. S. F. Landrey, at Logans- 
port, Indiana, on the 25th of January last. 
Dr. Landrey was a valued contributor to the 
Science News for several years, and our 
business relations with him led to -a full 
appreciation of his noble character and high 
scientific attainments. Dr. Landrey was 
fifty-six years of age, and his death was 
caused by consumption. 

The Medical Summary, which, under the 
successful editorship of Dr. Wells, has been 
a feature of the Science News for the past 
three years, will, for the present,- be con- 
ducted by Dr. C. E. Washburne, of New 
York City. Dr. Wells has been obliged to 
resign the work, owing to the pressure of 
other engagements ; but we have no doubt 
that it will continue to be of as much interest 
and value as formerly to the large number of 
physicians among our readers. 

The disbandment of the American Psychi- 
cal Society is a matter to be greatly regretted 
b}' all persons interested in scientific pro- 
gress. Tiiere is no class of phenomena 
more worthy of systematic study than those 
mysterious occinrencA which it lias been tlie 
province of the society to investigate. We 
understand that tlie principal cause of its 
dissolution was a lack of interest and finan- 
cial support, and it is to be hoped that suffi- 
cient encoiuagement may soon be given to 
lead to the re-establishment of a society 
which, at the least, has rescued an important 
class of natural phenomena from the hands of 
religious fanatics and peripatetic charlatans. 
AlthoHgh the society has no longer an inde- 
pendent existence, some of the members will 
continue to carry on its work as an auxilliary 
to the original British organization. 

Speaking of adulteration, a correspondent 
sends us some specimens of an ingenious 
fraud in the shape of artificial coflee-beans, 
apparently consisting of burnt flour, made 
into a paste, with some albuminous substance 
to prevent their entire disappearance in boil- 
ing water. A few genuine coflee-beans are 
mixed with them to gi\e a flavor to the bever- 
age, and the total cost of the mixture is said 
to be three cents a pound. Although the 
artificial berries closely resemble the "genuine 
ones, a careful examination of the interior, 
in comparison with a genuine berry, will 
show the difference at once ; and this is, per- 
haps, the easiest way to detect the fraud, 
where more complete tests are not available. 

A SAD accident is reported from Bloom- 
ington, Illinois, where a retort in which 
oxygen gas was being generated, exploded 
in the midst of a class of students, destroying 
the eyesight of the instructor, and seriously 
injuring a large number of pupils. No par- 
ticulars are given, and we are at a loss to 
account for the cause of so violent an explo- 
sion, unless the binoxide of manganese used 
in the experiment was adulterated with char- 
coal or coal-dust, as has occasionally hap- 
pened. ■ These s-ubstances, when mixed with 
chlorate of potash, would form a violently 
explosive mixture, and the greatest care 
■ should be taken to obtain only pure materials 
for this, as well as all other chemical experi- 

TnE dairymen of this State are making 
frantic efforts during the present session of 
the Legislature to have a bill passed prohibit- 
ing the artificial coloring of oleomargarine, 
and thus preventing its sale in free competi- 
tion with genuine butter. As there is not 
the slightest objection to the use of oleo- 
margarine as food, and as at least nine-tenths 
of all the butter sold in the State owes its 
yellow hue to artificial coloring-matter, there 
seems to be a good deal of assurance in this 
demand of a limited class of producers for 
"protection." The whole history of oleo- 
margarine legislation is a curious and most 
unpleasant example of the success with which 
State autiiority may be invoked to interfere 
with private industries and the natural laws 

of supply and demand. 


. A meteorite fell at Migheni, in Russia, 
on the 9th of June last, which was remarka- 
ble in containing about five per cent, of 
organic matter, in tlie shape of a yellow sub- 
stance readily combustible and soluble in 
alcohol, closely resembling resin. It also 
contained two per cent, of an inorganic body 
which is, apparently, a metallic salt of a new 
element allied to tellurium, altiiough it has 
not been fully investigated. The presence of 
organic matter in this celestial visitor is cer- 
tainly an extraordinary occurrence, and must 
be held to indicate either the previous exist- 
ence of living organisms on these bodies, or 
else — as seems more probable — that under 
certain conditions, such as we may suppose 
to prevail in the interior of the earth, carbon 
and hydrogen may imite to form organic 
substances. The bearing of this theory upon 
the formation of petroleum and natural gas 
is evident, and, whatever may have been 
the genesis of this irieteoric resin, the dis- 
covery is of the highest importance. 

Dr. Phipson, of London, has published a 
paper in which he attempts to prove that the 

difference between the various elements is 
not in the atoms themselves, but in the space 
between the atoms, to which he gives the 
old-fashioned name of phlogiston. He claims 
that each clement is composed of a system of 
atoms — all alike in size, weight, and form. 
This theory, although, of course, unprovable 
with our present knowledge, is of interest as 
showing the tendency among chemists, at 
present, to refer all the different elements to 
one primitive form of matter. A theory, 
however, which apparently confers the prop- 
erties of matter upon space is rather an 
incomprehensible one, and not likely to meet 
with general acceptance. 

H. O. TuMLiRZ has calculated the mechan- 
ical equivalent of the force of a ray of light, 
and comes to the conclusion that, under cer- 
tain standard conditions, the lighl received 
through the pupil of the eye in each second 
of time, represents a quantity of work which 
would reqtiire i year and 89 daj's to raise the 
temperature of a gramme of water 1° Cent.- 
This amount, it may be noted, is so infinitesi- 
mally small as to be quite beneath the bounds' 
of human comprehension. 

In continuing his researches upon the 
atomic weights.of oxygen and hydrogen, Pro- 
fessor Cooke has determined the specific 
gravity of liydrogen by direct weighing of a 
glass balloon filled with the gas. A new 
feature of the process is the determination of 
the weight of the empty globe, by first 
weighing it when filled with carbonic 
dioxide, and afterwards determining the 
weight of this gas by tlie well-known 
methods of organic analysis. The new de- 
termination confirms the former atomic 
weights of oxygen obtained by Professor 
Cooke and Lord Rayleigh by other methods, 
the average value of Lord Rayleigh's deter- 
minations being 15.SS4, of Professor Cooke's 
first determjnation by chemical methods being 
15.883, and by his last experiments 15.891. 
Althongii the atomic weight of oxygen is 
undoubtedly below 16, Professor Cooke con- 
siders it best, for various reasons, to assume 
it to Be the whole number, and leave the value 
of hydrogen to vary, as our increasing know- 
ledge may indicate. Professor Cooke's origi- 
nal paper, which is published in the Ameri- 
can Cheviical Journal, is of great interest 
as an illustration of tlie refinements and pre- 
cautions required in modern scientific inves- 


At this season of the year a good deal is 
heard of the injurious nature of the "burned 
air" which is given off' from the furnaces 
used in heating our houses. It is impossible 
to "burn" air, and there is no chemical 
change whatever caused in it by being 
heated in a furnace. If the furnace is gas- 
tight, and does not heat the air to too high a 



[Makcti, 1S90. 

temperature, it is a perfectly safe and health- 
ful means of warming buildings. The dis- 
advantages of a furnace are due to other 
causes than from its "burning" the air. It 
is also a mistaken idea that steam heat is 
moister than any other kind. Air heated by 
passing over a radiator is in exactly the same 
condition as when heated by a furnace, and 
tlie only possible way in which it could be 
moistened would be by the escape of steam 
from a leakv valve, which, however, is by no 
means an uncommon occurrence in many of 
the radiators in use. 


No part of Europe has given richer returns 
to the student of archasology than the countries 
of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and, perhaps, 
Finland, generally grouped together under 
the name of Scandinavia. From the verj' 
earliest times they seem to have been occu- 
pied by a large and 
energetic popula- 
tion, and the nu- 
- merous deposits of 
weapons, imple- 
ments, and utensils, 
— whether of stone, 
bronze, or iron, — 
show a perfection 
and beauty ex- 
ceeded or scarcely 
equalled b\' those 
of no other pre-his- 
toric races. 

The advanced 
state of the early 
civilization indi- 
cated in tlie Scan- 
dinavian coimtries, 
tends to confirm 
the doubtful theory 
that the great Aryan immigration startctl 
from this region ; or that more prepos- 
terous assertion, tliat the north polar 
regions were the true cradle of the human 
race, and were, in former times, blessed 
with a temperate climate and a luxurious 
vegetation. No scientist of any reputa- 
tion, however, supports this wild idea, and 
the best authorities consider that the use of 
bronze and other metals was introduced into 
the Scandinavian countries from other parts 
of Europe, and did not originate with the 
ancient inhabitants, no matter to what per- 
fection they afterwards brought the foreign 

M. Victor Rydberg has recently been 
studying the curious rock inscriptions which 
are quite abundant in Sweden. We repro- 
duce two engravings of these cuttin»s, one 
(Fig. 1) showing a ledge near Bohuslan cov- 
ered with representations of boats filled with 
men,, and the other (Fig. 2) showing the 
details of a similar rock sculpture in the 

parish of Brastad. The age of these sculp- 
tures is still in doubt, but the best authorities, 
including the Marquis of Nadaillac, — from 
whose description in La Nature we repro- 
duce the accompanying engravings,— agree 
in referring them to the age of Bronze,"which 
came to a close not later than 1500 B. C. 
This age is particularly indicated by the 
wheel-shaped solar emblems, shown in Fig. 
3, and the absence of the svast/'ka, or sacred 
symbol of the Aryans, which was not intro- 
duced into Sweden until after the commence- 
ment of the age of Ir(5n. 

The objects represented in the Swedish 
rock sculptures are very numerous. The 
ancient boats, with high bow and ornamented 
stern, are very common, and were probably 
the models after which the later ships of the 
Vikings were constructed. Many animals 
are represented, including oxen, foxes, dogs, 
various birds, and reindeer attached to a 
sledge. Hmnan figures, are common, and 

of Sweden, the peasants deposit in these 
cupules ofierings for the souls of their 
departed children, whiclr are supposed to be 
wandering in space, waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to enter once more into a human body. 

Fig. 1. 

generally represented as naked, but some- 
times clothed in a long robe descending to 
the feet. Certain of these figures are appar- 
ently represented with tails, but this is 
undoubtedlv an unskillful attempt of the 
ancient sculptor to represent the extremity of 
the arm. 

At Tanum a certain number of men are 
represented as walking in Indian file, and 
deprived of their arms. These are supposed 
to represent captives in war, submitted to a 
cruel mutilation ; or, more probably, it is 
only another indication of the sculptor's lack 
of skill. Other inscriptions closely resemble 
those of the North American Indians, and 
suggest the question of a possible ancient 
emigration to this country. Many religious j 
symbols have been noted, such as wheels, 
crosses, and cupules, or cup-shaped depres- 
sions, doubtless connected with ancient 
religious rites. To this day, in certain parts 

Fig. 2. 

The future study of these inscriptions, 
which M. Rydberg has so successfully beg-un, 
will undoubtedly greatl}^ increase our know- 
ledge of those interesting pre-historic times 
of which so many relics have come down 

to us, but of 
which we realh- 
know so little. 
All our historical 
records are but of 
yesterday, and we 
cannot doubt that, 
back of the races 
of which \\e have 
a direct know- 
ledge, the earth 
has been inhabited 
for many thousands 
of years by suc- 
cessive generations 
of men, who have 
left scarcely any 
more traces of 
tlieir existence 
than the leaves of 
the trees in their annual growth and decay. 

[Original in l*opular .S'ciCHc'C Xews.} 



■fllE HYDRA. 

As a bubject for our second study, we inay take 
the, little animal found everywhere in ponds attached 
to the (' nes of water plants, called the hydra 
{Hydra viridis or Hydra fiisca.) This animal, 
which is a sort of classic in zoology, — having been 
famous since 1744, when Tremblej, the Swiss natu- 
ralist, did his curious experiments upon it, — is a 
representative of the second great division of the 
animal kingdom, viz. : the Coelenterata. 

The general form and aspect of the hydra, as seen 
under a low power of the microscope, is shown in the 
accompanying figure (page 43.) It is seen that the 
body consists of a trunk-like part, attached at its base, 
and of six or eight radiating arms, or tentacles, at 
the free end. (The bud-hydra connected with the 
trunk will be referred to below.) The mouth is 
situated at the free end, and opens into the body- 
cavity, which is simply the hollow of the trunk. 
The body-cavity is also the stomach, and it is from 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 



the fact that the digestive cavity is thus one and the 
same with the cavitj of the body that the group of 
animals wjiich the hydra typifies receives its name, 
the word Coelenterata meaning hidden stomach. 

Thus the bodily structure of the hydra is exceed- 
ingly simple. While in all higher animals, from 
worms to mammals, there is a digestive tract, or 
alimentary canal, separate from the general cavity 
of the body, in the hydra a single cavity suffices. 
Food taken in at the mouth moves about freely in 
this cavity, undergoing digestion the while. Should 
any innutritions matter be swallowed with the f»od, 
it must be passed out of the body by the same open- 
ing that it entered, that is, through the mouth. 
Moreover, in this simple, sack-like animal there are 
no internal organs at all, the work of food-digestion 
being performed by the action of the cells that com- 
pose the walls of the body, and the circulation of 
the fluid product of digestion (blood) being effected 
by the general movements of the body. 

Having thus noticed the general features of the 
hydra, we may now pass to a more detailed exami- 
nation. By the use of the microscope it can be seen 
that the body is made up of two layers of cells — an 
outer layer, or ectoderm, and an inner Jaycr, or 

cndoderm. If the cells of the two layers be exam- 
ined and compared, they will be found to differ 
somewhat. While — like all unmodified living cells 
— they consist of minute bits of protoplasm, each 
having a nucleus, those of the ectoderm have a 
different form, and, as experiments show, possess 
difterent active powers, from those of the endsderm. 
If a few ectoderm cells be isolated and examined 
under high magnification, they will be foiXid to be 
drawn out at their inner ends into long processes. 
In the living animal these processes lie between the 
two layers, and extend longitudinally. Now, to 
understand their use, let us observe what happens 
when a hydra, extended at full length and swaying 
its body to and fro in the water, is lightly touched 
by a needle. The body — a quarter of an inch in 
length when extended — is quickly contracted into a 
small rounded mass. The little creature thus pos- 
sesses the 'power of contracting its body to a 
wonderful degree, and it has been found that it is 
the processes of the ectoderm cells in which this 
power of contractility lies. What we learn, then, is 
that these processes have the' same function that 
belongs to muscle-tissue in the higher animals. 
And, as the endoderm cells are not provided with 
these processes, we see that the latter differ from the 

former both in form and in physiological properties. 

We may now examine the endoderm cells. They 
are of an irregularly spherical form, and have scat- 
tered through their substance small grains of a 
green color. It is the possession of cells containing 
this green coloring substance that makes the hydra 
almost unique among animals : for this green mat- 
ter is chlorophyl, the same substance that gives to 
plants their characteristic color. Now, in plants, 
chlorophyl has a very important function : it enables 
the plant to utilize the sunlight in the making of 
starch, sugar, etc., out of things taken from the air 
and soil — as water, carbonic acid, and ammonia. 
The interesting question thus arises, whether chlo- 
rophyl serves the same use in the hydra. This 
point has not been finally determined. It is known 
that the hydra, like other animals, seizes and feeds 
upon organic bodies as food, but whether it is also 
able to derive food-matter from inorganic com- 
pounds, by means of the chlorophyl-grains, is not 
yet known. 

But what is certainly known in regard to the 
endoderm cells is, that they are brought into con- 
tact with the organic compounds swallowed as food 
by the hydra, — since these cells line the stomach- 
cavity, — and seem to digest them. At any rate, the 
food-matter, consisting chiefly of minute animals, 
is gradually absorbed by the living cells, and thus 
the life of the hydra, as an animal, is preserved. 
And here we may point out a biological principle 
of fundamental interest. Any living body, plant or 
animal, is an aggregate of cells, and the iife of the 
body is the in toto life of the cells. It is understood, 
of course, that we are here speaking of life as 
ritalitf/, not as conseioiisiiess. The principle is, that 
life, considered as that state of the body which is 
opposed to death, is the product of the unified life 
of the component cells. 

The biology of the hydra is especially interesting 
in regard to the ways in which the function of 
reproduction is effected. We do not commonly 
think of one animal being derived from another by 
a process of budding, just as one branch of a tree 
grows out from another. Yet this is one of the 
ways in which new generations of hydras are pro- 
duced. The cut shows a young hydra, formed by 
this process of budding, still affixed to the parent 
animal. During the time when they are thus con- 
nected, the body-cavities of the two are continuous, 
so that food swallowed by either is available for the 
nourishment of both. Sometimes . the bud-hydra 
will itself give rise to another, .so that three genera- 
tions of hydras will exist in one body. After a 
time, the buds detach themselves from the parent 
and begin an independent career. 

Reproduction by budding occurs only during the 
summer. At the approach of cold weather another 
process takes place, whereby the hydra perpetuates 
its kind. A small protuberance appears upon the 
trunk, just below the tentacles, and a second, larger, 
rounded growth farther below. Now it has been 
found out that these parts are sexual organs; that 
in the former, male cells are developed, and in the 
latter, an ovum, or female cell. The male cells 
eventually escape from their covering, and, by 
means of vibrating, hair-like processes (called cilia), 
swim through the water to the ovary, or sack con- 
taining the ovum; then, penetrating the wall of the 
ovary, they unite with the ovum, which is then 
capable of developing into a new hydra. But this 
does not take place until the next spring, the fer- 
tilized ovum remaining at the bottom of the pond 
during the winter. 

Let us notice that one method of reproduction 
shown by the hydra is non-sexual, and the other a 
true sexual one; also that these take place alter- 
nately. The same is true of many of the lower 

organisms, both plant and animal, and the whole 
process is spoken of as an alternation of generation. 

The manner in which the ovum develops into a 
full-grown hydra is, briefly stated, as follows : The 
cell divides into two; these grow and, dividing 
again, give rise to four; the procEss continuing, 
eight, sixteen, etc., are successively produced. The 
aggregate of cells thus formed is a rounded, mul- 
berry-like mass, and the embryo hydra is then said 
to be in the morula stage. A little later, the cells 
arrange themselves into two layers, thus passing 
into the gastrula (little stomach) stage. These two 
layers are, respectively, the ectoderm and endoderm. 
The cells composing them, at first pretty much 
alike, soon take on the distinctive characters (noted 
above) of these two layers in the fully developed 
animal. That is to say, the cells become differ- 
entiated into layers, or tissues, having definite and 
characteristic properties. Meanwhile, about an 
opening (the mouth) in the wall of the gastrula, 
the tentacles grow out, and development is complete 
— a new hydra has been formed. 

Now the development, or embryology, of all 
animals is, in its earliest stages, substantially like 
that of the hydra. All begin as a simple cell, and 
pass through the morula and gastrula stages; and 
in all, the cells gradually arrange themselves into 
groups, thus forming tissues. At first, taking the 
case of an animal of high organization, there is no 
muscle, bone, nerve, or other distinct tissue ; but, 
gradually, the undifferentiated cells fall into groups, 
take on distinctive characters, and thus build up the 
complex body. These are the fundamental facts of 

Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. 

fOi-iginal in t'opular Svienfe News.\ 


For Several centuries there flourished in certain 
spots throughout the fertile Ohio Valley, large and 
small towns inhabited by aborigines, who gained 
their subsistence by hunting, fishing, and limited 
agricultural pursuits. Many of these villages 
occupied the same locality year after year; some 
of them might have retained their position at the 
present day but for the settling of the country by 
the whites. Those who study the ancient Indian, 
and who have become expert in field searches, can 
readily distinguish the spots occupied by these 
towns by the refuse — such as broken pottery, flint 
and stone implements, burnt rock, etc. — that thickly 
strews the surface. Often these objects have lain 
exposed to. atmospheric agencies for so many years 
that they present the appearance of the natural sur- 
face rock in color. 

The Indian towns were most numerous in the 
State of Ohio, for it is in her river valleys that we 
find field after field covered with diversified forms of 
rude implements in various stages of manufacture. 
The valley of the Little Miami River, for a distance 
of seventy miles, was occupied by quite a numerous 
people. At Old Town, in Green County, we find 
the first large village site, at the forks of the river, 
where it is swelled to a considerable size by the 
influx of Caesar's Creek. From this point to its 
junction with the Ohio River above Cincinnati, 
towns were located every one or two miles. 

At the station on the Little Miami Railroad 
named Fort Ancient (in honor of a large pre-historic 
earthwork upon the hills above), the largest Indian 
town fouml in the entire valley was once situated. 
The railroad runs parallel with the river for some 
distance, and is two hundred yards east. Extending 
between tlie base of the hills and the river, for a 
distance of half a mile, and having a breadth of 



[March, 1890. 

three hundred vards, is this Indian camp. The 
refuse is thickest between the railroad and the river. 
There seems to have been but little occupancy east 
of the track. This peculiarity can be easily 
accounted for, because the Indians always choose 
to have their wigwams located as near the bank of 
the stream as possible ; hence the greater number 
crowd to the river front. The presence of so many 
persons would cause a heavy deposit of wigwam 

There is nothing upon the surface in the river 
bottoms at Fort Ancient. The deposits range from 
two to five Teet in depth, with layers of loam alter- 
nating, and thus indicating occupancy at three 
distinct periods. When our survey located at Fort 
Ancient, in July of last year, we began " prospect- 
ing" in various portions of the ijieadows lining the 
river by sinking small excavations here and there. 
The river at this place has banks from twelve to 
fifteen feet in height. It has cut into the rich, soft 
soil, and is rapidly wearing down the east bank. In 
its encroachments upon the farms it washed out 
considerable pottery and animal bones. Those who 
first learned of this informed me, and I went to the 
spot to investigate. From what I could learn I had 
formed the opinion that tliere was a cemetery some 
feet below the present surface. The subsequent 
examination of the place proved that a few persons 
had been interred, but that the site was occupied 
more as a town than as a burial spot. 

The first few holes sunk struck one of the most 
populous portions of the village. As soon as the 
discovery was made, broad trenches were run in 
various directions, and extended for several hundred 
feet; thus a great portion of the town was laid bare. 
At a depth of two feet from the surface, a thiri layer 
of ashes was found intermixed witli burnt rock, 
pottery, fragments, and broken animal bones. 
This deposit was made by the last village, and can- 
not be very old. The deposit of sand and loam 
above is due to the encroachments of the river, 
which overflows its banks every few years, and 
leaves in one place heavy layers of mud, while in 
another it may erode and transport the soil to some 
distant point. The pottery and bones found at a 
depth of two feet from the surface do not look as 
old as those occurring further down, nor are the 
bones in as decayed condition, but are quite well 
preserved. It is a remarkable fact that the pottery 
found on the later village occupation is plain, while 
nearly all that found in the earlier epochs is deco- 
rated and of a superior finish. 

Four feet from the surface a uniform layer of 
relics occurs. In this many shells of the fresh- 
water unio and the backs of the land tbrtoise are 
found. There is little or no burnt rock, the pottery 
is very common, and not a few flint knives, broken 
arrow-heads, and useless celts may be gathered 
from every excavation. The village that deposited 
the layer must have occupied this region several 
hundred years ago. In spots the accumulation of 
ashes is several feet in thickness ; it is in these ash- 
pits that we find many bones of birds, fish, and 
beasts. Some of these bones have been split 
lengthwise to extract the marrow. From hundreds 
of split bones (nearly always bones of the extremi- 
ties) of deer and bear, we ascertain that the natives 
consider^ the marrow a very great delicacy. In 
estimating the age of the second village, a number 
of things must be carefully considered. It was 
occupied when the country was quite heavily 
wooded, and the two feet of accumulated soil is due 
to the decaying vegetable matter. The .j-iver has 
been subject to sudden rise and fall, to %pring floods 
and summer droughts, since the country has been 
cleared. Before the . timber was destroyed, the 
channel held an even stage of water the year round. 

Of course, the winter floods came and caused high 
water for a time, bufthe stage was more even — 
there were no extremes. The meadows along the 
banks were in many places vast swamps; the creeks 
and tributaries were clogged by fallen trees and 
brush ; the river itself was retarded in its course by 
piles of drift. The thick woods that lined each 
bank were undermined in places by the current cut- 
ting into the bank. The trees fell out into the 
stream and checked the rapid flow of the water. 
Old settlers have told me that in 1810 to 1820, when 
they first visited the Miami Valley, the country was 
heavily timbered, that swamps lined the river 
margin, and that sudden floods were of rare occur- 
rence. All this being taken into consideration, we 
can readily see how much longer it would take the 
soil to accumulate between the second and third 
epochs than between the third and the present 
surface of the meadow. 

Below the second village site there is one foot of 
black soil which contains nothing whatever. Below 
it, or five feet from the surface, lies the heaviest 
deposit of all three— the one made by the first 
aborigines who occupied the site. This layer varies 
in thickness, and contains the most artistically deco- 
rated pottery, I ever saw. (The pottery is fragmen- 
tary.) The bones of the following birds, fish, 
reptiles, and animals have been found and identi- 
fied : Turkey, quail, hawk, duck, owl, gar, cat-fish, 
turtle, bear, deer, elk, wolf, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, 
ground-hog, musk-rat. Many mussel shells were 
found whi%h have been perforated- in the center. 
The finger thrust through this perforation would 
render Irhe manipulation of the large shell easy, and 
thus they were used as scrapers, cutters, and 
dippers. Some of these shells were 4% by 7 inches. 
Ashes have a wonderfui preserving power; there- 
fore the most minute bones, and even the scales of 
fish, were almost as perfect as the day they were 
thrown down, although centuries may have elapsed 
since these bones and scales were a part of live 
animals, and fishes. In some places we found bone 
awls and perforaters, made from the bones of the 
turkey and deer, and having very sharp points. 
These were undoubtedly used as needles by the 
squaws in the manufacture of hunting shirts, leg- 
gins, moccasins, etc. 

It was the custom of some of the tribes of Ameri- 
can aborigines to bury, children underneath the 
wigwam in which they died, or at the edge of the 
village. No doubt this custom was practiced here, 
for in the course of the excavations the skeletons of 
three children were found, accompanied by small 
ornaments of bone and unio shell. These skeletons 
were poorly preserved, being but eighteen to twenty 
inches below the present surface in two instances, 
and three feet and a half deep in three other cases. 
The bodies were walled in with large, flat, water- 
worn slabs of limestone, transported from the river 
bed near by. The stones were placed on edge at 
the head and feet and on each side of the body. 
One large one served as a covering to the rude 
tomb. I think these infant'burials were made by 
the inhabitants of the third village, as the lower 
layers in the case of the deeper graves have been 
disturbed. The reason that the skeletons are so 
much decayed is because they are not surrounded 
by ashes, as are the other deposits, and because the 
floods fill the torpbs with water, causing rapid 
decomposition of the bones. 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. 

[Specially Ob.served tor Po2>ular Science News,] 


Average Thermometer. 

At 7 A. M 27.90° 

At 2 p. M 30.71° 

At 9 p. M 32.24° 

Whole Month .... 32.24° 

Second Averag;e . . .i 33.20° 

Last 20 Januarys 
Second Average 




in 1875. 

Highest. Range. 



in 1889 




Chemical names for streets have been adopted 
for a certain Australian town. Argent, Beryl, Co- 
balt, Kaolin, Iodide, Oxide, Bromide, and Sulphide 
are favorites. It is significant that along the latter 
are situated churches and recreation grounds. 

We have another remarkably- warm January to 
report, exceeded only twice in twenty years, namely, 
last year (see above), and in i8So, when the tem- 
perature averaged 32.98°. The lowest point reached 
the present January was 10" above zero, on the 25th, 
and the highest 64°, on the 2d. The loth was the 
coldest day, with an average of 12 33°, and the 2d 
was the warmest, with a mean of 57.33°. The 20th 
was the next warmest, at 46.66°, and the nth the 
next coldest, at 17.66°. The first week averaged 
41.48° — so near mid-winter! In the twenty-one 
observations the mercury went below the freezing- 
point only five times, and the extremes were 22° 
and 64 -. The loth had the least range of any day, 
being only 3°, and the 25th the widest — 30° in four- 
teen hours, of which 26° occurred in seven hours, 
an average rise of nearly 4° per hour! There were 
only nine days when the mercury stood below the 
freezing-point at 2 P. M.. Such warm and change- 
able weather in mid-winter was unfavorable for 
health, and "la grippe" prevailed, with a number 
of deaths from this now memorabje disease. 


The face of the sky, in 93 observations, gave 43 
fair, 16 cloudy, 21 overcast, S rainy, and 5 snowy, — 
— a percentage of 46.2 fair. The average for the 
last twenty Januarys has been 53.7 fair, with ex- 
tremes of 40.9 in 18S4, and 61.3 in 187S and 18S8. 
January has been less fair than the present only 
three times in the last twenty years. The morning 
of the 13th was foggy, and the 22(1 and 28th were 
clear and cold. Only a few- days could be called 


The amount of rainfall the last month, including 
4.5 inches of snow, melted, was 3.04 inches, while 
the average for the last twenty-two Januarys has 
been 4.83, with exti-emes of i So in 1871, and 8.85 in 
1S89. The " Signal Service" at Boston reports this 
to be the driest January in twenty years, while my 
record gives seven drier than the present, illustrat- 
ing how different localities may vary in this respect, 
though not very far distant from each other. The 
small amount of snow fell on four different days, 
between the loth and 27th, and soon disappeared,, 
leaving the ground usually bare and often muddy. 
Only two days of imperfect sleighing thus far, andi 
the prospect for a good ice crop is now quite: 


The average pressure the past month was 30. iir 
inches, with extremes of 29.44 on the 8th, and 
30.75 on the 1st,— a range of 1.31 inches. This 
is the highest average for January on my record., 
and has been exceeded but twice in all the months 
of the year. The average pressure fpi* January in 
seventeen years has been 29.921 ijiches, with ex- 
tremes of 29.840 in 1879, aid 30-111 in -1890, — a 
range of .271 inch. The sum of the daily variation.s 
the last month was 11.39 inches, giving a mean 
daily movement of .367 inch — the largest, with three 
exceptions, in seventeen years. This average in 
January has been .302, with extremes of .196 and 

Vol. XXIV. No. 3.] 



.391. The largest daily movements the last month 
were .75 on the i6th, .74 on the 14th, and .60 on the 
15th, in connection with the principal rainfall. On 
fourteen other days the movements ranged from 
.54 to .35. There were six principal barometric 
waves during the month. 


The direction of the wind, in 93 observations, the 
f^ last month gave iS N., o S., 3 E., 19 W., 5 N. E., 
36 N. W., o S. E., and 22 S. W., — an excess of 27 
northerly and 59 westerly over the southerly and 
easterly, and indicating the average direction to 
have been W. 24° 35' N. The westerly winds in 
January have uniformly prevailed over the easterly 
for the last twenty-one years, by an average of 
j4 observations, and the northerly over the south- 
erly, with two exceptions, by an average of 21.4, 
indicating the general average direction to have 
been W. 21° 36' N., a near average with the last 
month. The relative progressive distance travelled 
by the wind the present January was 64.SS units, 
and during the last twenty-one Januarys i,2.;o such 
units, an average of 58-1, — showing less opposiTig 
winds than usual. The 9th and 22d were hoted as 
very windy. D. W. 

Natick, Feb. 5, 1890. 

[Specially Computed for Popular Science News.] 


MARCH, 1890. 
The sun crosses the equator and spring begins on 
March 20, at about 10.30 A. M. Mercury is a morn- 
ing StarBand passed west elongation on February 
23. It is at the beginning of the month about 10° 
south of the sun, but is about 25° west, and so can 
be seen for a few days in the morning twilight, low 
down in the southeastern sky. By the end of the 
month it will be very near the sun, and will pass 
superior conjunction on the morning of April 9. 
Venus passed superior conjunction and became an 
evening star on the evening of February 18. Dur- 
ing the month of March it will gradually move east- 
ward from the sun, but will not get far enough 
away to be in good position for observation. Mars 
rises at about midnight on March i, and at a little 
after 11 P. M. on March 31. It is moving eastward 
in the constellation Scorpius, and on March 4 it 
passes very close to the second star of the constella- 
tion, Jleta Scorpii, the planet being only 8' north of 
the star. The distance in miles from the planet to 
the earth diminishes from about 100,000,000 miles 
to 75,000,000 during the month. Jupiter is a morn- 
ing star, rising at about 4.30 A. M. at the beginning 
of the month, and at about 3 A. M. at the end. It 
is in the constellation Capricornus, and is moving 
eastward and a little northward, it having passed its 
most southern point during the past year. Saturn 
passed opposition with the sun on February 18, and 
is in good position for observation, being on the 
meridian at about 11 P. M. on March i, and two 
hours earlier on March 31. It is quite near the first 
magnitude star Regulus. During the month it 
moves slowly westward, and at the end is less than 
1° 30' north of the star, between Regulus and Fia 
Letjnis, the star at the j.unction of the blade with 
the handle of the Sickle. Uranus is in the constel- 
lation Virgo, about 5^- east of Spica {Alpha Vir- 
ginis), and is moving westward slowly. It will 
come to opposition with the sun in April. Neptune 
is in Taurus, between the Pleiades and Hyades. 

The Constellations. — The positions given are for 
the latitude of the northern part of the United 
States, and for lo P. M. on Marc^ i, 9 P. M. on 
March 16, and 8 P. M. on March 31. Cancer is not 
far from the zenith, a little to the south. I^eo lies 
east of Cancer, and Virgo lies below Leo, reaching 

to the horizon on the east. Between these constel- 
lations and the southern meridian are Hydra and 
one or two other constellations. On' the northeast 
are Ursa Major, well up toward the zenith, and 
Bootes and Corona low down. Draco and Ursa 
Minor lie mainly to the east of the pole star, while 
Cepheus is just below it. Andromeda is just setting 
in the northwest, and Cassiopea lies between it and 
the pole star. Perseus is above Andromeda, and 
Auriga above and to the south of Perseus. Gemini 
is west of the zenith, high up; and Taurus is low 
down in the west, just above Aries, which is setting. 
Orion is to the left of Taurus, a little lower down. 
Canis Minor is about halfway from the zenith to 
the southwest horizon, and Canis Major is below, 
between Orion and the southern horizon. 

Lake Forest, III., Feb. 3, 1890. 



Letters of inquiry should enclose a two-cent 
stamp, as well as the name and address of the 
writer, which will not be published. 

Questions regarding the treatment of diseases 
cannot be answered in this column. 

G. F. W., Boston. — In a recent number of the 
Science News [Jan., 1890, page 6] it is stated that 
Nero used a convex lens as an aid to his near-sighted 
eyes. Was this an eccentricity on the part of that 
amiable monarch, or a slip of the pen.' 

Answer. — There is evidently some mistake about 
the matter, but as the parties concerned are now 
beyond the reach of an interviewer, we do not think 
the question can be settled. Perhaps Nero was 
really far-sighted, as the ancients would not readily 
distinguish between the two defects in vision. 

C. H. C., Va. — Is there any kind of rnk which 
will fade away in a short time after being used.' 

Answer. — We know of no ink which would 
become absolutely invisible and beyond power of 
restoration; but it is said that iodide of starch, 
made by adding tincture of iodine to a thin starch 
paste, possesses those properties to some extent. 
We have had np practical experience with it, how- 
ever, and do not know whether it will do what is 
claimed for it. 

J. K., New Hampshire. — How can I grind raw 
bones so as to dissolve them in sulphuric acid for the 
purpose of making an artificial fertilizer? 

Answer.— Raw bone can only be ground in what 
is known as an attrition mill, very few of which are 
in use. You had best burn the bones till they can 
be ground in an ordinary plaster mill, although in 
so doing you lose the gelatine and other nitrogen- 
ous organic constituents, the phosphoric acid alone 
remaining. You must. not expect the bone-ash to 
dissolve in the acid. The chemical reaction between 
the bone and acid takes place without forming a 
complete solution. See Dr. Nichols' "Barn Floor 
Lecture," which we can mail for ten cents. 

G. H. T. , A'eio York. — Which is the proper form 
of the name of the metal occurring in clay. 
Aluminum or Aluminium.' 

Answer. — Both words are correct and used by 
good authorities. While we prefer the form 
aluminium, as the termination ium is analogous to 
that of most of the other elements, the form alumi- 
num is, perhaps, more generally used in works on 

P. R. D., /"/a.— What is the exact length of a 
pendulum oscillating in one second of time.' 

Answer. — Owing to the varying force of gravitv 
at different points in the earth's surface4 this length 
is not invariable. Careful determinations have been 
made, which show that at the level of the sea, at the 
equator (St. Thomas), the length is 39.02074 inches ; 
at London, 39. 13983 inches, and at Spitzbergen, 
39.21469 inches. 


Conversations on Mines, by William Hopton. Pub- 
lished by J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. 
Price, $i.2v 

This instructive book is intended for the better 
information of miners, over-men, under-lookers. 

deputies, and firemen, and those of them who intend 
to become managers of collieries. The book has 
had a remarkable history. Its author — a hard- 
working coal miner of Lancashire, who had risen 
by sheer natural ability and force of character to a 
position of trust in a mine — determined, in 1S64, to 
issue the work, chiefly as a hand-book for the use of 
operatives and laborers in coal mines, p'rom the 
very outset the book has had a marked success, and 
has long since attained an unparalleled popularity 
for a treatise of this kind. Its simple and exact 
methods of statement, its quaint and at times pic- 
turesque language, its high moral and humanitarian 
purpose, and the transparent honesty and unques- 
tionable manliness and straightforwardness of its 
author, all help to give the book a character of its 

Massage, and The Original Swedish Movements, by 
Kurre W. Ostrom. Published by P. Blakiston, 
Son & Co., Philadelphia. Price, 75 cents. 
The practice of massage has rapidly come into 
(avor of late years, as a remedial agent, and, in 
many classes of affections, has been used with 
signal success. The Swedish Movements, which 
are only a modification, have been in use among 
the Swedish peasants for many years. Dr. Ostrom 
has written a most valuable little hand-book upon 
the subject, which clearly explains the methods of 
performing the different manipulations, and the 
various di-seases in which they may be expected to 
^ve relief Numerous wood-cuts illustrate the 
work, and add greatly to the clear comprehension 
of the text. 

The First /look in Color, by Stephen W. Tilton. 

S. W. Tilton, 29 Temple Place, Boston. 

The study of color is taking its place in our 
schools as one of the necessities in education. The 
training of the eye ffe acknowledged to be as impor- 
tant as that of the hand and of the mind. Every 
book, therefore, that treats the subject ol' color is of 
timely assistance. The teacher, wliether in our 
public schools or at home, will find this book a 
great assistance. It presents carefully the theories 
of color and accompanies them with valuable prac- 
tical instructions. The book is in handsome, clear 
type, and brought out with the carefulness shown in 
other manuals issued by this firm. 

The Psychology of Attention, by Th. Ribot. Author- 
ized translation. The Open Court Publishing 
Co., Chicago. Price, 75 cents: 
A celebrated French critic has characterized the 
monograph of M. Ribot upon the psychology of 
attention as the most remarkable production of the 
philosophical press of France for the year of 1889. 
M. Ribot, who, in his own country, may be regarded 
as the inaugurator of modern psychological re- 
search, now occupies the chair of comparative and 
experimental psychology at the College de France, 
and is the editor of the foremost philosophical 
review of the continent, the Revue Philosophique. 
His works ujftn the diseases of will, of memory, 
and of personality, are universally known. The 
subject of the mechanism of attention, hitherto, has 
nowhere been treated of with fullness and scientific 
accuracy ; it has received at the hands of psycholo- 
gists but cursory mention, and, practically, been 
neglected. It has been the object of M. Ribot to 
fill this gap in the domain of contemporary compar- 
ative psychology. 

The J. G. Cupples Company, of Boston, have in 
press, and will shortly issue, the second edition, 
enlarged and improved, of a work in the vein of the 
"Widow Bedott Papers," but pronounced by compe- 
tent judges to excel even that famous production. 
It is entitled Aunt Nabby : Her Uambles, Her Adven- 
tures, and Her Notions, and has already in the first 
edition had an extensive run. They will also 
shortly publish a bright volume of European travel, 
entitled A liundle of Letters from Over the Sea, bv 
Louise B. Robinson, so well known in artistic and 
social circles of Boston. 

Pamphlets, etc., received: Liberty and lAfe, by 
E. P. Powell ; published by Charles H. Kerr & Co., 
Chicago; price, 75 cents. Sanitary Entombment, 
by Rev. Charles R. Treat, New York; Fires in 
American Cities, by Andrew P. Peabody, published 
by Damrell, l^pham Si Co., Boston ; and An Aerial 
Railway for the Exploration of the Volar Zone, by 
David Thayer, M. D., Boston. 



[March, 1S90. 

n^edicirje aijd Pliarnjacy. 


Tin; condition in which wc pass at least 
one-third of our lives is certainly one of the 
highest importance and interest, and it is, 
even witli om' present knowledge, not devoid 
of a certain amount of mystery. We know 
that in sleep the amount of hlood circulating 
in the brain is considerably diminished, and 
it is, un.doubtedly, the time when the waste 
of the nervous system is repaired, and a store 
of vital force — whatever that may be — laid 
up for the labors of the ensuing day. 

The profound influence which the state of 
slumber has upon the human system, is evi- 
dent to anyone who has ever passed one or 
more nights without the presence of "tired 
Nature's sweet restorer ; " and the feeling of 
strength, vigor, and well-being with which 
one awakens after a period of sound, dream- 
less sleep, shows that the restorative'influence 
extends to every part of the body. The 
need of sleep is an imperative one, and, in 
many cases, is almost irresistible. Instances 
arc on record of soldiers sleeping on horse- 
back, or even in the midst of a battle, and 
many a sentry has been sentenced to death 
for sleeping at his post, who was in no way 
to blame for his neglect of duty, but was 
simply overcome by a demand of Nature 
which he was unable to resist, even at the 
i)eril oi" his life. Similar instances are known 
of railroad engineers and steamboat pilots 
sleeping when on duly, with the knowledge 
-that the lives of many others, as well as their 
own, depended Upon their wakefulness. 

The proper amount of sleep required by 
anvone is an individual peculiarity, and no 
general rule can be given. The new-born 
infant sleeps nearly all the time, but the 
periods of wakefulness soon grow longer, 
through childhood and youth, until the full- 
o-rown adult devotes a minimum time to the 
recuperation of his bodily energies, while in 
old age the need of more time for sleep is 
again felt. The feelings are the best guide in 
this respect, and if one awakes completely 
refreshed after six hours of slumber, thai; 
amoimt is doubtless surficieut for his bodily 
needs, while another person may require nine 
or ten hours of each day to restore the balance 
of vital profit and loss. Nothing, however, 
can be worse than to regularly deprive one's 
self of needed sleep, in order to have more 
time for work or pleasure. This is like 
expending one's capital instead of the inter- 
est, and although the final result may be 
postponed, it can only end in physiological 

The time of sleep is of no particular con- 
sequence, and is largely a matter of habit. 
The darkness and quiet of night naturally 
lead to repose, but large numbers of people 
must, necessarily, reverse the usual practice 

and devote the daylight hoius to slumber. 
Neither is there any particular hjgienic virtue 
in early rising. The familiar old couplet is 
only true in a very general sense, and there 
are a great many cases where a man would 
be healthier, wealthier, and wiser if he de- 
layed the time of his rising to an hour con- 
sistent with his own feelings and inclinations. 

Dreams, undoubtedly, occur during dis- 
turbed sleep, or during the interval between 
sleeping and waking, and — althouglj it is not 
easy to prove this — it is more than probable 
that a sound sleep is a dreamless one. 
Unusual mental anxiety or excitement, or 
a disturbed state of the bodily organs, such 
as an overloaded stomach, may cause a cer- 
tain activity of the mental processes, which 
will become manifest in dreams. The sudden 
awakening of a sleeper will often cause a 
dream in the brief interval before full con- 
sciousness is attained. Dreams more often 
relate to recent and important occurrences in 
our daily life ; but, on the contrary, the most 
trivial incident, forgotten for many years, may 
be, as it were, stored up somewhere in the 
brain, to be alterward revived in a dream, 
with all the accompanying circumstances. 

The literature and curiosities of sleep and 
dreams is, however, very extensive, and it 
woidd be impossible to refer to even a frac- 
tional part of tiie observed phenomena. A 
simple falling asleep, if it were not so com- 
mon, would be a most wonderful and even 
alarming occurrence. Although the vital 
processes of a sleeper go on as usual, yet the 
mental life, the self-conscioiisness is sus- 
pended, and the sleeper is practically dead ty 
this world, or else wandering in another 
and stranger world — that of dreamland. A 
dreamer may be said to be in two places at 
once, and if, from any cause, he should not 
awake, but continue to dream on indefinitely, 
it would be hard to say why he would not be 
living just as true and r^al a life' as the one 
which he knew in-his waking hours. Ham- 
let's chief argument against suicide was that 
"In that sleep of death who knows what 
dreams may come.'"' and Bryant, in his poem 
Thanatopsis, speaks of welcoming the 
approach of death, 

'* Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him/and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

It is a noble, and perha])s the most logical 
conception we can form of the great and in- 
evitable change that must come to us all, to 
consider it as but the awakening irom the 
dream of our present life into a higher state 
of existence, with a comprehension of the 
laws governing the imiverse and our inilivid- 
ual being, which shall lead us to look back 
upon the experiences of our present life as we 
now vaguely remember the visions of a dis- 
turbed shuTiber, and with as little regret that 
they have forever passed away. 

I Specially Compiled for Popular Science J*>ews.\ 



Dr. Joseph D. IJrvant has come to the Ibllowinfr 
conclusions (Medical Record) in regard to the me- 
chanical treatment of hci-nia : i. No tbnii of truss 
yet constructed can be relied upon to cure anv 
variety of simply reducible hernia. 2. The manner 
of the production of hernia, and that of its so-called 
cure by mechanical appliances, are such that cure 
by mechanical appliances alone need not be ex- 
pected, now or hereafter. 3. Practical relief from 
the annoyance of hernial protrusion may be had by 
the use of hernial appliances, which, however, 
ought always to be worn during all unusual physi- 
cal efforts. 4. The so-called cures from hernial 
appliances are dependent on the restoration of dis- 
placed tissues to the normal position, and to oblit- 
eration due to natural resiliency of tissues; not, as 
is often claimed, to the inflammatory adhesions of 
serous surfaces, caused by special mechanical 
effects. 5. The hard, slightly convex pad, with the 
elastic steel spring attached, constitutes the princi- 
ple part of the most philosophical, comfortable, 
cleanly, and durable of hernial appliances. 6. Sus- 
pension, elevation, and protection of irreducible 
hernial protrusions, are the main indications for 
this mechanical treatment. 

Respecting the use of taxis, Dr. Bryant holds; 

1. That the abuse (not the use) of taxis constitutes 
an evil against which all surgeons should protest. 

2. That a quarter of an hour of well-directed and 
continuously applied taxis is a rational procedure ; 
longer than this is unnecessary, and therefore 
unwise and harmful. 3. That repeated attempts at 
reduction on the part of different persons are per- 
nicious. 4. That the present status of operative 
surgery has reduced the successful employment of 
taxis to the position of rendering but little practical 
benefit to the patient, except in special cases. 

The propriety of operative interference to effect a 
radical cure in all cases of herniotomy is insisted 

His conclusions as to the prop»r procedure in 
cases of intestinal mortifieation are thus formulated : 
I. When gangrene of the intestine has taken place, 
and the condition of the patient will permit, intes- 
tinal repair should be practiced at once, and the gut 
returned to the abdominal cavity. 2. When gan- 
grene has occurred, presumptively involving a 
portion of the upper two-thirds of the intestine, 
intestinal repair should be practised at once, and 
the gut returned to the abdominal cavity, even if 
the immediate result of the operation be somewhat 
doubtful. 3. When gangrene has occurred, and .the 
condition of the patient will not permit immediate 
operation, a temporary artificial anus should be 
formed. 4. It is better to form an artificial anus, 
under all circumstances, when the medical attend- 
ants are not familiar with the details of intestinal 
surgery. 5. Division of the constriction is not 
always necessary, and is often imwise when the 
formation of an artificial anus is contemplated. 

The compaiative value of the new antithermic 
analgesics was recently disctissed ( Therapeutic Ga- 
zette) by Professor Dujardin-Beaumetz at a lecture 
at the Cocliin Hospital, Paris. He rates antipvrin 
first, because of its small toxic power and its readv^ 
solubilily. He could not agree with those who look 
upon it with disfavor, because of the danger some- 
tiines'attending^its use. The materia medica con- 
tains numerous substances vastly more dangerous, 
and very lew that do not — or might not — occasion 
danger at times. Some of the most poisonous 

Vol. XXrV. No. .",.] 



drugs are among those most frequently employed — 
and, when occasion warrants it, in large doses. 
The chief objection to antipyrin is the scarlatiniform 
eruption it is liable to produce when given in farge 
doses, especially in the case of young girls. 

Second to antipjrin (and inferior to it only be- 
cause of its insolubility) he placed methylacetani- 
lid, or exalgine. It is more active than antipyrin 
and causes no eruption. The ordinary dose — four 
grains two or three times daily — may be increased 
to twenty grains in obstinate cases. Insoluble in 
c water, it is to be given in alcoholic solution. The 
following formula was suggested : 

. R. Exalgine, 2.50 grams. 

Essence of peppermint, 10 grams. 

Linden water, 120 grams. 

Syrup of orange flowers, 30 grams. 

M. One tablespoonful, (four grains), morning 

and night. 

The remedy has a wide range of applicability. It 
seemed to aflford relief whatever might have been 
the cause of the pain. In three cases of cardialgia, 
with anginous seizures, the speaker had observed 
its benefical action, and Gaudiman, in neuralgia, 
had known it to fail Iiut three times in thirty-two 

Phenacetin, to which he accords third place, is 
sparingly soluble, and but slightly toxic. It; is of 
special value in the neuralgias of the hysterical. It 
is best given in capsules — the dose being about 
seven grains once or twice a day. 

Acetanilid he placed last, not because of defi- 
ciency in power to relieve pain, but on account of 
the alarming c_\;anosis it sometimes produces. The 
remedy, however, was often employed for months 
without causing more than li passing — and harmless 
— discoloration of the skin and mucous menbrane. 

The close inter-dependence of different parts of 
the body, and the folly of any "specialism" in medi- 
cine which ignores that inter-dependence, is well 
shown by cases of obstinate cough reported by Dr. 
A. C. Palmer {iVorth Carolina Medical Journal.) 
One case was that of a patient, forty-five years oI3, 
suffering from an almost continuous cough with little 
or no expectoration. After careful e.xamination of 
the chest and larynx, accident led to an examination 
of the ears, where there was found decided inflam- 
mation, with hypericsthesia of the drum membrane 
so intense that a touch or even a draught of air was 
sufficient to bring on a characteristic paroxysm of 
the cough. All other treatment was now discontin- 
ued, attention being directed solely Xd relieving the 
. condition of the ears." Under treatment of this 
s. local affection of a comparatively distant and ob- 
scurely-related part of the body, the cough entirely 
disappeared. Afterwards two other cases suffering 
from disagreeable and obstinate cough came under 
Dr. Palmer's care. In one of these cases repeated 
consultations had been held for some supposed lung 
trouble. The real seat of the lesions in both cases 
proved to be the ears, which were affected by 
eczema of the external auditory canal, with inflam- 
mation extending down to the drum. 

Dr. Lindenborn, physician to the Municipal 
Hospital, Frankfort-on-the-Main, claims for dithio- 
salicylate of soda, a new antirheumatic with which 
he has been experimenting, the following advan- 
tages over ordinary salicylate of soda : It has a pow- 
erful action; the requisite dose is smaller; it has no 
bad effect on the stomach, heart, or great vessels ; it 
does not cause collapse nor humming in the ears. 
Conceding that I'arther experimentation with this 
agent is desirable, "it suffices for him to have drawn 
the attention of the profession to a preparation which 

may, he confidently hopes, be of avail in the often 
long and tedious treatment .of some rheumatic 

Ilueppe, who has been testing the same substance 
as a disinfectant and antiseptic, pronounces it much 
superior to salicylate of soda. 

Dithiosalicylate of soda is an isomeric substance 
consisting of two molecules of sajicylic. acid bound 
to two molecules of sulphur. 

Dr. Kolinsky calls attention {Graefe's Archiv.) to 
some undesirable effects produced by naphtjialin, 
which has been coming into use considerably of 
late in the treatment of diarrhoea. It is said to 
cause small extravasations in the choroid and in the 
ciliary body of the eye, which are followed — if the 
naphthalin is continued — by ecchynioses and white 
patches in the retina, and finally by a cloudiness in 
the lens, and crystals in the vitreous humor. 
effects Dr. Kolinsky explains by attributing to 
naphthalin the property, of producing nutritive 
changes in the blood which occasion degeneration 
of the blood-vessels. The eye being a highly vas- 
cular organ, is easily affected by this vitiated state 
of the blood. 

M. Clemens (Joiirnnt de Medicine de /iordeaiij) 
reports good results in the treatment of ingrowing 
toe-nails, by the employment of tin-foil, such as is 
used for enveloping chocolate and other food pro- 
ducts. A single or double sheet of the tin-foil is 
introduced between the nail and the ulcerated tis- 
sues beneath, by the aid of an instrument with a thin 
blade. The tin-foil is kept in place by wax, which 
is moulded over the parts. M. Clemens attributes 
the beneficial effects to the chemical, rather than 
the mechanical action of the tin-foil. 

Contagiousness OF Tuberculosis. — Dr. Leudet 
of Paris, according to the Paris correspondent of 
the Journal of the American Medical Association, 
states that in the families he has known personally 
and attended for the last twenty-five years, out of 
112 widowers and widows, whose marital compan- 
ions had succumbed to phthisis, seven onlv were 
affected by tuberculosis, lie therefore concludes 
that contagion, even between married couples, is 
extremely rare. 

A Paris pharmacist, says the Medical Record, 
was recently called upon to dispense a mixture con- 
taining sixty grains of antipyrin and seventy-five 
grains of chloral in half an ounce of water. An 
oily precipitate was immediately thrown down, re- 
sembling neither antipyrin nor chloral in taste, but 
suggesting that of coriander seed. A mixture of 
antipyrin and quinine is also incompatible, both 
substances being at once precipitated from the 

According to Dr. Edw. N. Whittier, of Boston. 
(iVfW Remedies), a comparison of antipyrin and 
acetanilid shows the following points of difference : 


Action more rapid, but Generally more prolonged 
more transitory. and powerful. 

More diaphoretic. More diuretic. 

Depressing after effects. Stimulating. 

Gastro-intestinal irritant. Non-irritating. 

Easily toxic. Rarely toxic. 

Large dose. Small dose. \ 

Expensive. Cheap. 

These results, though not uniform, are, in his 

opinion, sufficiently so to cause, in general, a prefer- 
ence- for acetanilid in febrile cases. 

Regulated Diet. — According to the Medical 

Brief, (N. V., Feb., 1890), Dr. Flint says : "1 have 
never known a dyspeptic to recover vigorous health 
who undertook to live after a strictly regulated diet, 
and I have never known an instance of a healthy 
person living according to a dietetic system who 
did not become a dyspeptic." 

For nocturrial incontinence of urine, a combina- 
tion- of bromide of potassium and tincture of bella- 
donna is recommended ( Therapeutische Monatshefte) 
as superior to either of these agents alone. Ten 
grains of the bromide, together with ten to twenty 
drops of the tincture of belladonna should be taken 
before retiring. 

Annidalin, a new substitute for iodoform, is a 
preparation made by the action of iodine upon an 
alkaline solution of thymol. It is of a red color, 
and, on exposure to light or in the presence of 
moisture, liberates iodine. 

A Chicago boy, sutlering from paralysis, was 
treated {Times and Rer/ister) by laying bare the 
spinal column and removing a clot of blood which 
had collected there. 

Stammerers, s;tys the and Register, are 
advised to keep silent for ten days, then to speak 
in whispers only for ten days more, and (inally to 
return to the ordinary voice gradually. 

A .MAN arrested in New York City for supposed 
intoxication, was found to be suffering from a pecu- 
liar and obscure brain trouble. He is unable to 
keep awake, and seems to be in a fair way to sleep 
himself to death. — Times and Register. 

Massage wits a fine art with the Chinese about 
the time Moses was perfecting his plans for the 
exodus from Egypt. — Times and Register. 

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has de- 
cided that the law of that State, requiring a license 
for the practice of medicine, surgery, and dentistry, 
is unconstitutional. 


Webster thinks microbes of not sufficient impor- 
tance to receive mention in his ponderous lexicon, 
but in this belief he is poorly supported by scientists 
of today. We cannot blame the compilers of this 
work for shirking the task of definition, for the 
query "what are bacteria, microbes, etc..'" would 
elicit the greatest variety of answers, according to 
the authorities consulted. 

We confess to being sadlj' at sea when questioned 
regarding the differences or shades of difference in 
the meaning of the several terms taken as a text. 
It is therefore pardonable to quote a few of the more 
interesting statements contained within a papw 
recently read by Mr. F. Davis before the Chemists' 
Assistants' Association, in London. By the free- 
dom with which he uses the terms, it would seem 
that microbes, bacteria, and bacilli are the same, 
and though enthusiasts may apply subtle and hair- 
splitting differences, the uninitiated are not thereby 

Mr. Davis describes bacteria as being slender 
little rods, about one-three-thousandth inch long, 
and about one-twenty-thousandth inch in diameter. 
Though in form the bacteria closely resemble one 
another, in their manner of motion there is a vast 
difference, which has led to their classification as 
Vihriones, having a wave-like motion, Oscillarice, 
oscillating motion, etc. Just previous to the period 
of multiplying, the bacterium becomes quiescent, 



[March, 1S90. 

and shortly afterwards encysted, forming upon itself 
an external gelatinous wall, which entirely encloses 
the original bacterium or protoplasm. The proto- 
plasmic mass tlien divides into numberless granules, 
which increase in size, and eventually burst the 
gelatinous wall and become free, each in turn com- 
mencing to go tlirough the phenomena of multipli- 

Micrococci are bacteria of another shape, m6stly 
round or elliptical, multiplying by simple division. 
There are two principal divisions into Micrococcus 
zymof/ens and M. pathogens, besides two lesser sub- 
divisions into the chromogenic or color-makers, and 
the septic micrococci. Some (the aerobics) require 
free oxygen, illustrated by the top yeast in the man- 
ufacture of beer; others (the anaerobies) do not, as 
in bottom yeast. 

Bacteria exist in all departments of life. The 
saltpetre beds of India and Peru are produced by 
aerobic bacteria, which reduce the organic matter 
of the soil to nitrates, which latter then combine 
with potash or soda. The greenish matter in a 
suppurating wound is the product of a chromogenic 
microbe. Many bacteria appear to be altogether 
harmless, such as Leptothrix huccalis, always presgnt 
in the saliva. Others are harmless in the saliva 
and digestive canal, but immediately produce dis- 
ease if they gain access to the blood through rup- 
tured membranes. Some bacteria assist materially 
in the processes of digestion, converting albumin- 
oids into peptones. The bacilli of contagious dis- 
eases may be found in the body after death. 
Small-pox, typhoid, and the like, each has its char- 
acteristic bacillus. In some diseases they occur in 
the blood, in others in the liver or kidneys. It is, 
however, still an open question whether the bacteria 
or their secretions are the immediate cause of the 
disease, though many are inclined to think these 
latter, the ptomaines, are really the cause of many 
diseases. — I'harmacenUcal Era. 


WiiEN a unilateral lesion attacks any of the 
double organs of the human body, the left organ 
is more frequently affected than the right. Thus, 
obliterating arteritis attacks the left Sylvian artery, 
tuberculous infiltration occurs in the left apex, 
pneumonia in the left lung; calculous nephritis, or 
cyst of the kidney, attacks the left kidney; ovaritis 
and ovarian hyperesthesia are observed in the left 
ovary; orchitis affects the left testicle, etc. M. 
Henry Duchcnne tries to explain this fact by the 
greater activity of the right side of the body and the 
relative passive condition of the left side, which 
contains the heart. The mechanical activity of the 
right side determines nutritive activity. The me- 
chanical passivity of the left side produces a kind of 
physiological mealiness, a pathological predisposi- 
tion. Dr. Duchenne considers that the law of 
atavism may also explain the physiological inferi- 
ority of the left side of the body, for in ancient 
times, when hand-to-hand fights were always occur- 
ring, the activity of the right side of the body was 
constantly called into play. — Medical Recorder. 

the cold "spare-room" has slain its thousands of 
hapless guests, and will go on with its slaughter till 
people learn wisdom. Not only the guest, Ijut the 
family often suffer the penalty of sleeping in cold 
rooms, and chilling their bodies at a time when they 
need all their bodily heat, by getting between cold 
sheets. Even in warm, summer weather, a cold, 
damp bed will get in its deadly work. It is a need- 
less peril, and the neglect to provide dry rooms and 
beds has in it the elements of murder and suicide. — 
Good Housekeeping. 

If trustworthy statistics could be had of the num- 
ber of persons who die every year, or become per- 
manently diseased, from sleeping in damp or cold 
beds, they would probably be astonishing and 
appalling. It is a peril that constantly besets 
travelling men, and if they are wise they will inva- 
riably insist on having their bedsaired and dried, 
even at the risk of causing much trouble to their 
landlords. But the peril resides in the home, and 


Professor Stowell urges medical students to 
dissect cats, as a means of studying the arrangement 
of nerve- cells in the spine. 

" Change of climate is what you need," said the 
high-priced physician, after he had listened to all 
the details of the patient's case. "Change of cli- 
mate I " exclaimed the patient, in surprise. "Why, 
man alive, I've never had- anything else. I've lived 
right here in New England all my life." 

Sterilized Lint. — M. Regnier renders lint 
sterile by heating it to a temperature of 120' C. 
(248° F.) He has tested the antiseptic value of 
lint thus prepared in dressings applied after opera- 
tions of various kinds, with good results. At a 
recent surgical congress he stated that he con- 
sidered sterilized lint equal to antiseptic dressings. 

HuNYADi Jaxos. — There recently died in Buda- 
Pesth, Andreas Saxlehner, the discoverer and pro- 
prietor of the well-known Hunyadi Janos water. 
He was a cloth dealer and a Hungarian patriot, and 
a warm friend of Kossuth. In 1863 a cloth dealer 
from the country, chatting with Saxlehner in his 
shop, told the latter that he had upon his own land 
no fewer than ten places on which an oddly tasting 
and smelling water bubbled up, which neither man 
nor beast could drink. Saxlehner visited the farm, 
accompanied by Dr? Molnar, the analyst. The visit 
and analysis resulted in the purchase of the farm. 
Twenty years later the poor weavers son had be- 
come the richest trader in Hungary, and had devel- 
oped Hungarian industry and commerce in a 
direction and to a degree of which Kossuth never 
dreamed. He named the water "Hunyadi Janos," 
after his darling hero, John Hunyadi, the victor 
over the Turks. 

Fees in New York.— The professional fees in 
New York City are not so extravagant as they are 
generally believed to be. The general practitioner 
averages from two to five dollars per visit, according 
to the pecuniary condition of the patient. The 
average fee for visit to the wealthy is five dollars. 
The office consultation -of an expert or general 
consultant is, as a rule, ten to twenty-five dollars 
for the first visit, and five to ten dollars for succeed- 
ing ones. The fee for a consultation visit varies 
with the reputation of the consultant and the ability 
of the patient, from ten to twenty-five dollars. 
Visits out of town are usually from ten to twenty 
dollars per hour of absence from home, plus the 
travelling expenses and regular consulting fee of 
twenty-five dollars. Surgical operations are rated 
according to character, time, and skill, range from 
one hundred up into the thousands. The operation 
fee is charged for as extra of that for time when away 
from home. Night calls arc twice the amount of 
day services, whether ordinary or consulting visits. 
Notwithstanding these accepted rules, there are not 
a few who can charge much higher fees — in fact, 
name their own price and get it. On the other 
hand, there are many younger men in the profession 
who are content to average a dollar a head for every 
patient they see, whether in their office or on the 
top Hoor of a six-story tenement in the rear. 


Popular Science News Company, 

^ Somerset Street, Ronton. 





The Publishers of the NEWS earnestly request that sub- 
scribers will make their remittances either by draft on Bos- 
ton or New York, or by a postal order. If it is absolutely 
necessary to mail money, it should be sent only in a registered 
letter. The publishers decline to assume the risk of money 
mailed in tin registered letters. 

Remittances will be duly credited on the printed address 
label of the paper; but if they are received after the istTT of the 
month, the change in the label cannot be made imtil a month 
later. If a formal receipt is desired^ a two-cent stamp or a 
postal card should be enclosed with the remittance. 

Publisljers' ColunjQ. 

In using new steel pens the ink sometimes will not flow 
readily. This can be avoided by sticking the ]>en into a potato. 
Try it the first Esterhkook's Pen you use. 

Wood's Botanical Works, advertised by A. S. Barnes 
& Co., are recommended to those intending to commence 
this fascinating study the coming spring. 

For children, convalescents, and invalids of weak constitu- 
tions, the use of Colden's LiQj.aD Beef Tonic will be found 
invaluable. T. Colden, proprietor, Baltimore, Md. 

If your heativg apparatus has not worked satisfactorily the 
past winter, you should examine the (Jurnev Hot Wate-r 
Heater before making ajiy change. It gives universal satis- 

Water-pipes protected by the Wells Rustless Iron 
Process will last indefinitely, and deliver a supply of water 
uncontaminated with poisonous metallic salts, and as pure as 
the original supply at its source. 

Druggists should note the advertisement of H. L. Bowker 
& Co. before putting tlieir soda-water fountains in operation 
for the coming season. They supply all the standard beverages 
and flavors, besides many novelties which are sure to be a source 
of profit. 

Londonderry Lithia Mineral Water is a natural pro- 
duct fresh from the granite liills of New Hampshire. It is a 
delicious and healthful table water for daily use, and in addition 
IS highly recommended as possessing valuable medicinal 

Seeger &. Guernsey's Cyclopedia is the standard expo- 
nent of the United States manufacturing interests. All persons 
engaged in manufacturing or mercantile pursuits will find it 
indispensable in indicating where goods of any sort whatever 
may be bought to the best advantage. 

Artificial ice will have a very vigorous "boom" the 
present year, on account of the almost total failure of the 
natural ice crop. Those manufacturers jirovidcd with the effi- 
cient and economical machines built by David Boyle, of 
Chicago, will doubtless realize veiy large profits from their 

The Wheat Meal manufactured by Mr. S. A. Fowle, the 
proprietor of the Arlington Mills, at Arlington, Mass., is for 
sale by leading grocers everywhere. Peojile who will give it a 
trial will find it far cheaper than flour, as it will give as much 
nutriment and go fnur tiiius as far as ,a similar amoimt of the 
latter, thus reducing the expense of this department of the 
family larder no less than seventy-five percent.- It has received 
the endorsement of the medical fraternity wlienever it has come 
under ibeir notice, and if any of the large number of grocers 
who are among our readers will give it a trial, they will 'find, 
when once fairly introduced, that il is one of the readiest selling 
articles Ihev ever handled. 

C|)c popular Science 0tXas 



Volume XXIV. 


Number 4. 


Familiar Science. — The Magic Cash Box . . 49 

Leaf Mosaics 49 

The Proto-IIelvetes, or Lake -Dwellers of 

Switzerland 51 

Scientific Brevities 52 

Practical Chemistry and the Arts. — Aerial 

Navigation 52 

Aluininium 52 

How Jugs are Made . . .' 53 

State Telephony 53 

Laboratory Notes 53 

The Out-Door World. — Mr. Wight's Course 

in Botanv .54 

Professor Cassedy's Course in Chemistry . . 54 

A New Member of the A. A. Council ... 54 

Chapter Addresses. New and Revised ... 54 

The World's Fair in 1S92 54 

The Isaac Lea Mem»rial Chapter of Con- 

chology 55 

Original Observations by Members of the 

Agassiz Association 55 

Reports from Our Chapters 55 

Alaskan Burial 56 

Editorial. — Some Assumptions of Science . 57 

The Mineral Wealth of New Mexico ... 58 

Paris Letter 59 

Meteorology for February, 1890, with Review 

of the Winter 59 

Astronomical Phenomena for April, 1890 . . 60 

Literary Notes 60 

Medicine and Pharmacy. — The Relation of 

Chemistry to Medicine 61 

A Talk by John Wesley: London, A. D. 1747 61 

Monthly Summary of Medical Progress . . 63 

Medical Memoranda 64 

Publishers' Column 64 

Banjiliar Scieijce. 


A CURIOUS little toy is illustrated in 

Aa Nature, called the Magic Cash Box. 

Viewed from the front through the glass 

forming one of its sides (A), it appears to 



f#r, '-' 

\ <^ 


The Magic Cash Box. — A, Front view through g:lass side. 
B, Rear view with back removed, showing arrangement of 

be simply an empty box, covered on the 
interior with white cloth or paper. Now, if 
a coin is dropped into it through the slit in 
the top, it immediately vanishes, the box is 

apparently as empty as before, and the ques- 
tion printed at the back, Ou est passe la 
monnaie? (Where has the money gone.?) 
becomes a very pertinent one. 

The mystery is solved by removing the 
back of the box (B) and examining the 
interior. We then find that the box is not 
really empty, but contains two mirrors, 
placed together at an angle of 45°, with the 
apex of the angle facing the front of the box. 
These mirrors reflect the sides of the box, 
and produce the illusion that one is looking 
directly at the back, when, in reality, it is 
the reflection of the sides that we see, and the 
money dropped into the box is concealed in 
the space behind the mirrors. 

This ingenious toy can easily be made by 
anyone with two pieces of looking-glass cut 
to the proper size. Care must be taken to 
have the cloth or paper covering the inside of 
the box perfectly white and clean, with no 
marks or figures to be reflected. The mir- 
rors must be placed . at an angle of exactly 
45°, and the edge where they come together 
is concealed by a narrow strip of card bearing 
the legend noted above. 

[Original in Popular Science Jlew».\ 


Since the time when the illustrious Dr. Priestly, 
a little over a hundred years ago, discovered that the 
green parts of plants have the power of making 
the air around them fit for animals to breathe, 
the attention of the curious in such matters has 

Fig. I. Plantain-leaved Everlasting. (Original.) 

been repeatedly directed to the study of how the 
leafy shoots perform their work. It was early seen 
that sunlight is necessary to enable the leaves to 
drink in the carbon-laden particles from the air, 
and liberate from their confinement the atoms of 

oxygen ; and, after a while, it came to be understood 
that the purpose of this subtle activity was the mak- 
ing of nourishment for the plant. Once arrived 

Fig. 2. Water-starwort. (Original.) 

at the conception of foliage leaves as so many 
food-mills run by sunbeam-power, the great variety 
of form and arrangement, and the many peculiari- 
ties of behavior exhibited by leaves, acquired a 
new interest from the hope thus given that an ex- 
planation of their queer ways might now be found 
by the use of this new key. 

One of the most brilliant results of the studies in 
this direction was the discovery that the arrange- 
ment of leaves on upright stems is governed by 

Fig. 3. Star-flower. (Original.) 

curious mathematical laws, according to which the 
place of origin of each leaf and the angle between 
successive leaves is fixed with remarkable precision. 



[Ai'itiL, 1S90. 

To fully discuss these laws would require inany 
pages, but for our present purpose it will be enough 
to point out that the various. sorts of leaf arrange- 
ment on vertical axes are approximations — often 
extremely close — to that method which mathema- 
ticians have found to be theoretically best for 
securing to each leaf the utmost exposure to sun- 
light, and, at the same time, having it shade the 
others as little as possible. Thus, on stems having 
the leaves opposite, the successive pairs cross at 
right angles, and so each leaf has a clear space 
above it and also one below. In other cases, the 
leaves are arranged spirally around the stem, like 
the steps of a winding stair-case, and alwai'S with a 
nice adjustment of distance, angle, size, and propor- 
tions of leaf. 

Fig. 4. Sycamore Maple. (Kerner.) 

Besides these more common instances of leaves 
situated in higher and lower planes, there not 
infrequently occur occasions when it is of advantage 
to a plant to have all its leaves — or, at least, all the 
leaves of a branch — spread out at nearly the same 
level. Then the best possible disposition of the 
leaf-blades becomes a sort of mosaic, in which all 
the available space is completely filled, and without 
overlapping. Almost any wood or country road- 
side will afford examples of leaf-groupings which 
meet these conditions in ways as beautiful as they 
are interesting, and if a person is on the lookout for 
them, he will have many delightful surprises. 

In situations where the soil is poor, and where, 
consequently, as much of the ground as a plant can 
get is none too much for its needs, we find leaves 
disposed in flat rosettes, (like that shown in Frg. i), 
which effectually exclude all rivals from the area 
they cover. Plantains, dandelions, mulleins, and 
saxifrage afford other familiar examples. But, in 
the power to exclude other plants from the soil it 
occupies, we have no weed which equals one which 
southern farmers call "the king devil." Not con- 
tent with poor soil, it encroaches upon cultivated 
fields with such rapidity that, in a single season, 
acres will be covered with an almost continuous 
mat of the outspread leaves. 

Similar in many ways to these rosettes on land, 
are those made at the surface of ponds and strearris 

by clusters of floating leaves, borne on more or less 
elongated foot-stalks which come from a submerged 
stem. The water-starvvort (Fig. 2) is a pretty little 
plant of this description, and abounds during the 
spring and summer. 

Finally, in shady woods we find a third form of 
rosette (Fig. 3), consisting of a circle of leaves 
placed at the top of a short, upright stem, and so 
rather suggestive of a parasol. Since the theoreti- 
cally best form for the leaves composing a rosette is 
a sector of greater or less width, according to the 
number of leaves, it is interesting to notice how 
nearly sector-shaped many of the rosette leaves 
actually are. 

In the case of trees and shrubs, a mosaic-like 
arrangement of the leaves becomes of advantage on 
those branches which take a horizontal direction, 
and, if these happen to grow in a shady situation, it 
becomes all the more important for the leaves to be 
so disposed that they may utilize to the utmost 
what little light they can get. A moment's consid- 
eration will show that this little piece of engineer- 
ing, which leaves have so often to perform, is by no 

necessity of adjusting them to each other with 
considerable nicety. 

Thus in the maple (Fig. 4) we have a case in 
which the leaves arise in pairs, crossing each other 
as before described. Consequently, to make the 
blades horizontal on a lateral branch, certain of the 
leaf-stalks have to twist through half a turn, while 
others are forced to bend through 90^'. But, 
besides this, there is a lengthening of some of the 
stalks, by which means the blades are carried out 
of shadow, while other stalks are correspondingly 
shorter than the average, so that they will shade 
only the stem. Finally, it should be noticed how 
well the size of each leaf is adapted to the place it 
occupies, and how admirably the peculiar angular 
shape allows them to fit together. 

This fitting together of angular shapes is, how- 
ever, accomplished even better by the English ivy 
(Fig. 5), and the result, as will be seen, is an 
especially fine mosaic. The hazels, blueberry- 
bushes, and the elm (Fig. 6), especially when 
growing in the shade, exhibit the effects of similar 
twistings and bendings, and show also the filling of 

means so simple as might appear at first sight. 
To start with, all the leaves on a plant have funda- 
mentally the same arrangement, and, most com- 
monly, this is such as was described above for 
vertical stems. Hence, to bring into one mosaic- 
like cluster a number of leaves which tend to point 

Fig. 6. Elm. (Kerner.) 

away from the axis in all directions, a variety of 
expedients must be resorted to ; and even when they 
are brought to lie in one plane, there rernains the 


small spaces with small leaves. In the Chinese 
honeysuckle such small leaves make their appear- 
ance on the older parts of a shoot — a single pair at 
the base of each leaf-matter the first leaves have 
attained their growth, and are thus actually inter- 
calated to fill up, as well as may be, the remaining 
spaces. This introduction of small leaves into a 
mosaic is well exhibited also in the belladonna (i), 
and in a somewhat different way in certain species of 
selaginella (2, Fig. 7.) 

Climbing plants, like this honeysuckle and the 
ivy, and others which grow closely appressed to the 
upright face of rocks, walls, or tree-trunks, differ, as 
a rule, from the other plants we*have described, in 
having their leaves vertical instead of horizontal, 
and plenty of cases may be found of leaves grouped 
in planes more or less oblique ; but in every instance 
it will be seen that only one side of the leaves is 
well illuminated, and this is clearly the essential 
condition for the formation of a leaf mosaic. 

A Curious Mental Trait. — A correspondent of 
the German Anthropological Society tells of his 
meeting a farmer by the name of Lowendorf, who 
had a peculiar habit of writing "Austug" for 
"August," his Christian name. Some years later 
he was inspecting a school, and heard a little girl 
read "leneb" for "leben," "naled" for "nadel," 
and the like. Upon inquiring, he found that her 
name was Lowendorf, and that she was a daughter 
of his former friend, the farmer, now dead. This 
defect was noticeable in the speech and writing of 
both father and daughter. It appeared in the father 
as the result of a fall that occurred some time before 
the birth of his daughter. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] 



[Orijfinul in Popular Science Xeiag.] 





The numerous .Tnd important discoveries of arch- 
icolosjists during the last thirty years have thrown a 
new liglit on the times preceding the Roman inva- 
sion in Gaul and Helvetia. The first researches 
were made on the Tielman, near Berne, in an isle 
formed by the Aar, in 1S49-50. A hundred swords, 
debris of chariots and wheels, Gaulois and Roman 
^K money, with numerous other objects like those later 
W found on the Tene, rewarded these investigations. 
B Archaeologists pursuing researches in Alesia (Alise 
B Sainte-Reine), where Gaul and Roman met for the 
B last time 50 B. C, brought to light arms which had 
been buried for nineteen centuries, furnishing 
precious specimens for study. 

After the discoveries of M. Fred Keller, at 

Meilen, Prof. Desor and Col. Schwab began to 

seek for antiquities in the lakes of Western Switz- 

' erland. At the extremity of Lake Neuchatel. near 

the spot where the new canal of the Thielle is 

by Port to Bruff, below Nidau, even to Zurich and 
along the Linmat. 

The researches organized by MM. Schwab and 
Desor were carried on at the spot Avhere the water 
was only from 60 to So centimetres in depth, and 
where the gravel-bed was not so deep as elsewhere. 
Here they found an ancient habitation — a station 
almost full of objects in iron, unique then, which 
made a great .sensation in the archaeological circle, 
and bore afar amongst savants the distinguishing 
title of Tene, (from tennis), shallow water. Still, 
the depth of the water and the layers of mud and 
gravel on either side, limited the researches to the 
one accessible spot; and, after a time, this field was 
left by the workers, apparently exhausted. When, 
however, the correction of the waters of the Jura, 
with the construction of the canals communicating 
with the rivers, lowered the level of the lakes, 
laying bare the archaeological treasures of the 
Broie and Thielle, the portion which had already 
yielded such rich rewards on the Tene was left dry, 
and here Pref. v'ouga began his new investigations. 

These works on the Tene have furnished the most 
numerous and best preserved objects of the Iron 
Age ; hence archiEologists have termed this period 
when the use of iron was general, the "Epoch of 

^'^S-7' (i) Atropa Belladonna. (2) Selaginella Helvetica. (Kerner.) (See page 50.) 

opened, rises the establishment of Prefergier. All 
.the space hence to the bridge of the Thielle, and 
below as far as Lake Bienne, is a rich architological 
bed, enclosing stations of the three ages — Stone, 
Bronze, and Iron. Opposite Prefergier a species of 
dyke was found, formed of gravel, driven there by 
the west wind at an epoch when the waters were, no 
doubt, at a lower level. This spot still bears the 
■ name of Heidenweg — road of the Pagans. Behind 
this dyke, and sheltered by it, extended a vast, 
shallow l)asin, which later became a marsh, and 
which made connection with the three lakes — Neu- 
chatel, Bienne, and Morat. It was here on an 
island formed by the Thielle and the Tene, that the 
Helvetes who imderstood the employment of iron 
planted their piles. They extended their dwellings 
the length of the Thielle. 

It is on the banks of water-courses, particularly 
where there have been bridges, that the vestiges ef 
the people of the Iron Age are found in the best 
state of preservation. This is proved along the 
border of the Broye, between Lakes Morat and 
Neuchatel ; in the Tene, where the stations ex- 
tended along the ancient Thielle to the bridge; also 

*Le3 Helvetes a la Tene, by Prof. Vouga. 

the Tene." It is supposed to be more recent than 
that of Hallstadt, where iron existed at the same 
time with bronze. These recent discoveries on the 
Tene confirm the assertions to be found in the 
writings ef ancient authors, Latin and Greek, as to 
the manners, utensils, and arms of the Gaulois 
tribe. "The Helvetes," they tell us, " made part of 
the large Celtic, or Gaulois race, extending from 
the Carpathian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean." 
Proof of this assertion may be found in the tombs 
of Western and Central Europe, even to the Carpa- 
thian range and the Vistula, where objects are 
found similar to those of the Tene. A century 
B. C, however, the Gaulois, pressed by the Suedois 
(Germans), occupied only the country west of the 
Rhine. The time of their splendor was past, and 
they were weakened by intestine warfare. The 
advance of the Romans to the south of their terri- 
tory, and the frequent incursions of the Germans to 
the east, rendered them at length desperate, and 
they decided to emigrate en masse, to pass the Jura 
and establish themselves in Gaul. "Before their 
departure," says Ciesar, "they had burned their 
twelve towns and four hundred villages." So far 
the ancient writers carry us. Now let us return to 
the revelations of the Tene. 

Prof. Vouga began his researches near a bridge, 
or long passage on piles, and, in addition to several 
Gaulois habitations, found traces of a Roman sta- 
tion. Among the houses was one which had a 
second floor still in place. This floor was formed of 
two beams, 15 metres in length, — one of oak, the 
other of pine, — 20 centimetres thick, square and 
well jointed. The walls 'had fallen one upon 
another in the lake, but it was found that each was 
formed of. three beams of pine wood. The cross- 
beams were there also, and some trellis-work, 
whose interstices were filled with large pebbles. 
The waters having retired here, gave opportunity 
for further research, but it was impossible to pene- 
trate the gravel-bed to the bottom of the river. 
Vestiges of five habitations wore discovered within 
an area of iSo metres, while from the neighbor- 
hood, from a bed of mud three metres thick, 
quantities of objects in iron were drawn, — swords, 
lances, hatchets, razors, chisels, an entire wheel, 
chariots, and a debris of broken wheels and harness. 
Then below other layers of mud, sand, and gravel, 
the searchers came upon a melee of bones of men, 
horses, oxen, and other animals, with utensils of 
wood, and fragments of large vases, unhappily 
destroyed. Near this spot, throe complete skeletons 
were discovered, one of which had a cord tied 
around the neck. By the first habitation, the bank 
of the Thielle is covered with gravel two or three 
metres deep. The Roman remains are found in the 
middle of this gravel-bed, in the ferm of tiles, frag- 
ments of pottery, nails, etc., about a metre above 
the objects belonging to the Helvetes. 

The Helvetes worked in iron and bronze with 
great skill. Their arms, swords with scabbards in 
iron and bronze, lances, arrow-heads, javelins, 
horse-bits, etc., show great perfection. The hand 
of the artist also is visible in the tools of this age, 
— the hatchets, hand-saws, chisels, gouges, files, 
scissors, scythes and sickles, knives and razors, 
their belts, rings, bronze ornaments, pins and 
needles, and needle-cases. An iron hook has been 
found, by which to suspend the kettle over the fire, 
precisely' such as is in use in country places to this 
day. The majority of the number of swords found 
on the Tene are still in their scabbards, and, when 
withdrawn, appear to be perfectly new. The scab- 
bard adapts itself exactly to the sword. It is formed 
of two blades of sheet-iron, or very thin bronze, of 
which one laps over the other, and is more or less 
ornamented. Most of the swords are rounded, but 
a few have been found pointed. They are pliant, 
but not always well tempered, as the Romans found 
to be the case, according to Palybius. The fact that 
so many of the swords and knives appear to be new, 
has given rise to the supposition that these habita- 
tions on the Tene were storehouses, or shops, 
always kept well supplied, so that the Helvetes 
could retire to their fastnesses on the pile dwellings 
when pursued by the enemy. 

Among other interesting objects, we find two 
hand-saws, such as are used by gardeners of the 
present age; also bronze cases containing iron 
needles, and several iron and bronze kettles, with 
circles and rings of iron. But none of these kettles 
were furnished with handles ; the latter came in 
with the Romans. There are but few remains of 
pottery to be found in this epoch of the Tene. The 
one whole vase is in the museum at Neuchatel. 
The fragments of broken ones are not well made, 
being rough inside, black, and polished on the 
exterior. A few objects in glass, beads (white and 
blue), part of a bracelet in blue glass, money, and 
ornaments in gold, are sometimes found. 

The stations on the Tene must have been very 
ancient, as there are no signs of coats of mail, 
casques, belts, or chains of bronze. The money 



[April, 1890. 

found seems to date from 200 B. C. Still, some of 
the establishments must have been of prior date, 
but the researches have not been complete enough 
to prove, or even approximate to correctness on this 
point. But the archieologists seem to be of the 
opinion that the T*ne was not a station such as 
those of the Stone or Bronze Ages, known as habi- 
tations where people lived in security against wild 
beasts. It is evident that they were attacked here 
and defeated by their enemies, who carried off 
everything of value in gold and silver that thej' 
could find. We read in Roman history that such 
was the custom of the conquerors ; that Marius, 
" having defeated the Cimbres, chose from the 
trophies the most beautiful arms, and burned the 
rest." The unfortunate Ilelvetes left on the marsh 
or in the river, their bodies, their treasures, — every- 
thing, in fact, that the victors did not care to carry 
with them. The waters at flood tide swept these 
bodies and objects to the bottom of the Thielle, and 
there covered them with successive layers of turf, 
sand, gravel, and mud. 

Such is the conjecture of the archaeologists, to 
whose labors we owe the fine collections in the 
museums, which give us the opportunity of judging 
for ourselves of the skill and ingenuity of this war- 
like race of the great Iron Age — the "Epoch of the 


A Dublin Trader announces on his billheads 
that, in consequence of the inaccuracy of chemical 
analysis, he has ignored such tests in favor of a 
sworn magisterial declaration regarding the quality 
of his goods. 

Another Mine of Mercury is announced as 
having been discovered in the Transvaal, at a place 
called Witkoppies, near Malmani. The yield of 
quicksilver shows that the ore is rich, though the 
mine at present is only fifty yards square. 

Electricity in the Dairy. — An interesting 
application of electricity to the dairy industry has 
been recently made in Italy. The Count of Assata, 
whose buildings are fitted up with the electric light, 
has connected his dairy plant with an electric motor 
of twelve horse-power. This machine drives a 
Danish separator and a Danish churn of the capacity 
of 400 litres of cream, churning being conducted at 
the rate ef 120 to 160 revolutions per minute, the 
butter being brought in from thirty to thirty-five 
minutes, in fine grains, which, it is now recognized, 
enables the maker to produce the finest article. A 
pump is also worked in 'the dairy. 

A New Roofing Material. — A new roofing 
material is mentioned in the German papers, in the 
shape of a sort of metallic slate, somewhat similar 
to those used among us, but enamelled so as to be 
proof against moisture or acid vapors. Metallic 
slates of tin and galvanized iron have long been used 
in Germany, and galvanizing has been pronounced 
by the highest scientific authority there, to be the 
best protection against rust that has yet been applied 
to iron, but it is acknowledged that the bending 
necessary to form the locking joints of the metallic 
tiles is apt to throw off the protecting covering, 
leaving the iron exposed to corrosion. In order to 
provide against the bad effects of this, the new- 
plates are made of sheet-iron, stamped into shape in 
the usual manner, and are then dipped into an 
enamel paint, which, when heated, forms a contin- 
uous coating, unaffected by acids or alkali»s. It is 
too soon to say how long a roof laid with such a 
material will last, but it promises to be of consider- 
able value. 

Practical Cljonjistry arid tlje Jlrts. 


It may safely be said that the navigation of 
the air is a practical impossibility, and that 
no balloon, air-ship, or other means of con- 
veyance which can be propelled through the 
air in a definite direction, under the control 
of the operator, will ever be constructed. 
But, as. this method of travel is confidently 
predicted by many as a development of the 
near future, — and even now announcements 
of the discovery of a means of navigating the 
air appear more or less frequently, — a consid- 
eration of some of the theoretical principles 
involved may be of interest. 

It is evident that a practicable air-ship must 
contain within itself the power to make it rise 
in the air, as in the of a bird. No bal- 
loon could ever possibly be forced through 
the air against a wind of any velocity. The 
immense surface presented to the action of 
the wind, would require a force to overcome 
it far beyond any that we could produce ; 
and, even if it .could be accomplished, it 
wotild only result in its immediate destruc- 
tion by tearing the necessarily light and fragile 
material of the balloon into fragments. It 
would be as easy to drive a balloon at a high 
rate of speed underneath the ocean itself, as 
to make any headway against a wind of only 
moderate violence. 

It is a necessity, therefore, of a practicable 
air-ship that it must contain within itself not 
only the power to move it through the air, 
but to sustain it at the required height. A 
bird does this, it is true ; but the body of a 
bird has a very small weight in proportion to 
the force developed by its organism. It is 
like a motor which has only to move itself. 
But we have no artificial motor which can 
begin to compare in efficiency with the natu- 
ral one possessed by the bird ; and, besides, 
an air-ship must not only raise and move 
itself, — and the weight of all our artificial 
motors is very great in proportion to the 
power they exert, — but it must also carry the 
weight of passengers, baggage, supplies, and 
many other things, all of which increase the 
power necessary to raise them to an immense 
degree. Theoretically, an air-ship is possible, 
but a calculation of the force necessary to lift 
into the air even the lightest and most effi- 
cient form of steam engine known to us, will 
show that it is far beyond any power that it 
can develop, to say nothing of the addition 
of passengers or freight, and the driving of 
the whole through the air against the ever 
prevailing winds. The storage battery has 
been suggested as a feasible means of supply- 
ing this power, but the storage battery is even 
less efficient in proportion to its weight than 
the steam engine, to say nothing, of the prac- 
tical difficulties in the way of recharging it 
with energy. 

As far as we can now foresee, the railroad 
will always remain our best means of loco- 
motion. Undoubtedly immense impro\e- 
ments will be made in our present system, 
as regards safety, comfort, speed, and econ- 
omy ; and, although the traveller of a hundred 
years hence may, very likely, look- back upon 
our limited expresses as something only fit 
for emigrants, yet we are inclined to believe 
that the fiuidamental tvpe of the railroad will 
always persist, and that as long as the human 
race remains upon the earth it must confine 
itself in its movements to the surface of the 
land and water. 

[Original in Popular Science News.} 


One of the most abundant elements on earth — 
in fact, the most abundant metal — is aluminium. It 
occurs in combination with oxygen and silicon, and 
is the principal basic radical in many minerals, 
such as slate, feldspar, and mica. It occurs in clay, 
marl, and in different soils; also in sapphires, 
■■ubies, and emeralds. In all, about one-twelfth of 
the earth is aluminium. 

Many aluminium salts had been known from 
early times, and had been utilized in different ways, 
but the pure metal had not been known. It was 
first obtained by Wohler, in the form of steel gray 
powder, but afterwards in malleable globules. 
Others have obtained it by heating metallic sodium 
with chloride or fluoride of aluminium, or with a 
double chloride or fluoride of aluminium and 

The pure metal (AI2V1, 27) is bluish-white, with 
a bright metallic lustre. Its low specific gravity 
(2.56) is its most remarkable property. It is duc- 
tile, malleable, and tenacious, and may be rolled 
into sheets or drawn into fine wire. It melts at 
about 700°. It conducts heat better than silver, 
and electricity better than iron. It 4s permanent in 
air, melts slowly when heated, and crystallizes in 
octahedrons on cooling. When melted in a cruci- 
ble, it does not oxidize, and so it may be cast. 
When dropped or struck, it gives a clear, musical 
note, but is too sonorous for bells. Neither concen- 
trated nor dilute nitric acid acts upon it, but it is 
readily attacked by both concentrated and dilute 
hydrochloric acid. 

The uses of aluminium are, at. present, compara- 
tively few, owing to its cost and the difficulty with 
which it is prepared. It is used chiefly on philo- 
sophical instruments where permanence, lightness, 
and rigidity are needed. For the same reason, it is 
beginning to replace copper in making scale-beams 
for delicate balances, being only about one-fourth 
as heavy as copper, and of about the same rigidity. 
Small weights are also made of it. Owing to its 
permanence, it is used sometimes for cap-stones. 
The cap-stone of the Washington Monument is of 
aluminium, and is said to be the largest piece in 

Aluminium forms a number of interesting com- 
pounds. It readily unites with copper, silver, and 
iron to form alloys. It may be melted with lead, 
however, and no combination will take place. The 
alloy with copper is a golden yellow, and takes a 
high polish. It is much used as jewelry, being the 
best imitation of gold. Aluminium treated with 
sodic hydrate gives the rough, frosty surface lately 
so popular on jewelry. Messrs. Bell manufac- 
ture a yellow alloy containing ten per cent, of 
alurninium, which they call aluminium bronze. It 

Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] 



is very hard and tenacious, and is used to some 

extent in gas-fixtures. 

Aluminic oxide (Ah O3) is white when pure, but 
when colored with oxides of iron and manganese, it 
is known as enierj, and is used in the manufacture 
and grinding of cutlery. 

Aluminid hydrate (AU Oe He) is used to form 
lakes in dyeing. It acts sometimes as a base, and 
sometimes as an acid, and is thus interesting, 
because it fulfils Mendelejeft's prediction. 

Alum (K-2 Alv [S04]4 24 Ha O) is an important 
compound, formed by adding potassic sulphate to a 
boiling solution of aluminic sulphate, and crystal- 
lizing the alum from hot water. When pure, it 
crystallizes in white octahedrons, and so its purity 
may always be told by its crystallization. It is 
used extensively as a mordant in dyeing. 

Ultramarine is an aluminium compound. Its 
blue color is due to the way in which its constitu- 
ents are arranged, and not to those which it con- 
tains. It is a common blue pigment. 

Clay, as has been before stated, contains alum- 
inium. All pottery, earthen-ware, china, porcelain, 
etc., are made of clay. The clay is shaped by 
various processes, baked, and glazed. Aluminium, 
therefore, occurs in all pottery, etc. 

Although the compounds of aluminium are so 
widely distributed, the pure metal is comparatively 
rare. Many so-called cheap processes for making 
the metal have been discovered during the past 
fifteen years, but none have succeeded. Aluminium 
was formerly obtained entirely from the Aluminium 
Society of Paris, who make it from clay. Before 
the Franco-Prussian war, it Avas said that England 
and Germany could manufacture it, but during the 
siege of Paris none appeared. At that time no pro- 
cess was able to compete with that of the Society, 
who furnished aluminium at $1.25 per ounce troy. 
Jn 1882, about one ton of the metal was used in this 
country. In 1884, ^ Philadelphia chemist dis- 
covered a process, in which he substituted sodium 
\ apor for the sodic carbonate of the other processes. 
A better quality of metal was obtained, and many 
thousand ounces have been manufactured. 

The Cowles brothers have tried reducing alum- 
inium in an electric furnace. This is a sort of 
crucible, through which passes an electric current, 
flowing through a substance offering great resist- 
ance, and developing great heat. This fuses the mix- 
ture of charcoal and aluminium compound in the 
crucible, but it is very difficult to get the aluminium 
at this high temperature. A new process of reduc- 
tion has lately been discovered, by which, it is said, 
aluminium may be put on the market at $2.00 per 
pound, with the possibility of a much lowerprice. If 
this process is successful, the uses of aluminium will 
increase rapidly in a short time. 

Aluminium, being a fine conductor of electricity, 
a non-rusting, non-tarnishing metal, harder and 
much lighter than ir»n, must eventually replace 
iron. But, of course, the change will be gradual. 
Just as there has been a Bronze Age and an Iron 
Age, so there may be an Aluminium Age. Or, in 
other words, it will begin to be manufactured at a 
price which will make it useful in the arts. 

In many sections of the country, far away from 
cities and railroads, some of these old-time articles 
are still made in the original way. A visit to a 
"jug factory" in one of our interior counties will 
show an example of a primitive process still in 
active operation in a number of places. Many of 
our young people have probably not had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing how a jug is made. The writer 
remembers as a boy the apparent mystery as to how 
they were made, and was told that they were con- 
structed by plastering clay over a coil of rope, and 
the rope afterwards removed by uncoiling and with- 
drawing the same through the mouth of the jug. 
Such a method would, of course, be impracticable. 

The maker of pottery at one of these rude facto- 
ries is usually a small farmer, who devotes his spare 
time to the business. Since he uses his own mate- 
rial, employs no help, but does everything with his 
own hands, he cares nothing for strikes, freight 
rates, or labor agitators. His ware is good for so 
much per gallon in the vicinity or the neighboring 
country towns, where it is taken for sale on his own 

The potter sits astride a rough bench, and gener- 
ally uses an old, worn-out saddle to make the seat 
more comfortable. In front of him is a shallow- 
box, with a horizontal wheel or disc in the center, 
carried by an upright shaft having a similar, but 
heavier, wheel below and near the floor. He causes 



[Origin.lI in Ptipular Scifnce yews.\ 


The old-fashioned way of doing things is often 
lost sighl.of, and, when seen for the first time, is of 
great interest at the present day. To persons 
accustomed to large manufacturing enterprises, 
with special machinery for turning out certain 
articles very fast and cheaply, the hand-made 
article of an hundred years ago is curious and 

the wheel to revolve rapidly by means of a remark- 
ably simple foot-power arrangement, the heavy 
wheel at the bottom serving to keep up a steady 
movement. The foot-power is a short stick or rod, 
pivoted by a peg at one end, and suspended at the 
right height by a short piece of chain. The crank 
in the upright shaft is connected to the oscillating 
rod by a piece of wood. By a gentle side-way swing 
of his left foot, the operator produces the necessary 
rotary movement of his wheel. 

Having previously tempered his clay and sepa- 
rated it into parcels of the proper weight for a jug 
of a certain size, he takes one of the lumps and 
places it on the center of the revolving wheel, and 
proceeds to give it shape and form. It is a curious 
sight to watch the plastic material grow into sym- 
metrical shapes under the simple manipulations of 
the potter's fingers, sometimes assisted by simple 
tools of wood or bone. 

He first inserts one or two fingers of one hand 

into the center of the mass, and uses his other to 

press on the outside. This produces a hole in the 

i clay, which now assumes the shape of a thick ring. 

and is made thinner and drawn upwards, to form 
the side walls of the jug, by simply raising both 
hands at once, drawing the clay up between them. 
The article now has the form of a wide-mouthed jar 
or cylinder, ani may be finished as such by a few 
touches of a tool around the brim. To make it 
into a jug, the upper rim of the jar is turned 
inward with the hands, into the form of a dome, 
and the neck and lip shaped with one finger inside 
and a tool on the outside. The handle is shaped 
separately and attached by pressing the ends down 
on the moist body. At the bottom the jug is still 
stuck fast to the wheel, but is readily detached by 
drawing a fine wire under it. 

After being properly dried, the pottery is baked in 
a long arch of brick-work, having a chimney at one 
end. Wood is used for fuel, and, at the proper 
time, common salt is thrown in, to produce a glaze 
on the surface of the ware. Some skill and experi- 
ence is necessary to conduct the firing properly, or 
the ware fnay be ruined. Though often ungraceful 
in shape, this pottery is in common use in most 
places where the distance from large factories 
makes freight rates very high on such goods. 

It is not yet known what action the Postmaster- 
General will take with regard to the telephone com- 
panies during the next six months. The companies 
work under a license from the Postmaster-General, 
who, at the end of June next, can give notice to the 
companies that the governinent intends to take over 
by purchase, the telephone service of the country. 
According to the draft license under which the cotu- 
panies carry on their business, the government may 
purchase the telephone systems at the end of this 
year by giving six months' notice, and it is very 
probable that this will be done, in view of the amal- 
gamation which recently took place between two or 
three of the companies. Should the State take over 
this industry it is to be hoped that we may be saved 
the inconvenience which has occurred in France 
since the French government took over the tele- 
phones a few months ago. There everything is 
topsy-turvy, and cointnunlcation between subscribers 
to the Exchange is exceedingly diflicult, and some- 
times impossible, owing prhicipally to the inatten- 
tion of the governtiient employes. Another great 
annoy.ince is the fact that many of the subscribers — 
especially those having the instruments in their 
dwellings — are rung up very early every morning by 
the employes, in order to see whether the transmit- 
ters are in working order. The Italian government, 
too, proposes to purchase the native telephones. 
We trust that we in England may be spared the 
vexations of the French subscribers, as telephonic 
communication is already carried on under suffi- 
ciently great difficulties. — Mechanical World {Eng- 

.: ««•> 


Action of Glycerine upon Vulcanized Rub- 
ber. — M. Morellet states that vulcanized rubber 
dipped suddenly into boiling glycerine takes the 
characters of non-vulcanized rubber, t. e , that its 
parts can readily Be joined and that it dissolves in 
the usual solvents of caoutchouc. The glycerine 
must be boiling at the time of first contact. 

Musical Flames. — The well-known experiment 
of making sounds by holding a tube over a jet of 
burning gas (usually hydrogen) is often omitted in 
chemistry classes because no suitable tubing is at 
hand. A fact noted by Mr. T. B. Smith is that a 
bottle will serve in place of a tube. A "philoso- 
pher's candle," properly burning, will yield a fine 
sound if capped by a wide-mouthed bottle, as a 
quinine bottle or large test-tube. 



[Aprh,, 1S90. 

Tl^e Chit-Door moiid. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
[P. O. Address, PIttsfield, Mass.] 


Realizing the <^reat labor and expenditure 
of time involved in such a series of botanical 
lessons as Mr. Wight last year conducted for 
the Agassiz Association, it war, wilh hesita- 
tion that I wrote to inquire whether the 
success of the experiment would warrant 
him in repeating it this year. Mr. Wight 
replies that about one hundred and fifty 
students took the former course, and that he 
is so well pleased by the diligence and enthu- 
siasm of the class, that he will open another 
like it on the first of May. 

Mr. ^Vight sends to each pupil by mail a 
set of about fifty carefully selected specimens, 
with lesson leaflets giving clear and precise 
directions for studying them, and blanks for 
recording the results of this study. He then 
receives, corrects, and returns these exercises 
of the pupils ; and for the whole service, 
.including spechnens, makes only the nominal 
charge of one dollar and a half. 

In addition to this course, a short series of 
lessons on ferns will be given later in the 
year, beginning sometime in October or 
November. Any who are interested may 
address Mr. Alex. Wight, Framingham, 



Professor Cassedy is ready to go on with 
his interesting lessons in chemistry. Two 
courses are now open — one for beginners, 
and one for those somewhat more advanced. 
All are most cordially invited to join these 
courses, and any who would like to do so, 
should write to Professor Cassedy at once. 
When a man makes up his mind to ofl'er his 
services to his young friends in this way, they 
need have no hesitation in accepting his 
kindness. Indeed, a prompt and general 
acceptance of his ofier is all the reward he 
desires. Here is his letter : 

Norfolk College for Young Ladies, 1 
Norfolk, Va. / 

Dear Mr. Ballard: Will you kindly ask all 
who have not received the chemicals and directions 
for work in qualitative analysis to send to me again. 
Sickness has caused delay. You may announce 
both courses, and invite all our young Iriends to 
join. There is, first, the "Elementary Experi- 
mental Course." This consists of ten lessons. The 
experiments and investigations to be performed are 
fully described, and the results are to be sent to me 
for correction. Price, for printing and postage, 
$1.50. The second is a course in qualitative analy- 
sis. I send twenty-five chemicals, numbered, and 
directions for analysis-. Reports are to be sent to 
me for correction. We use Jones' Junior Course, 
McMillan & Co. Price $1.00, for printing and 
copying. Respectfully, 

J. A. I. Cassedy. 


It always gives us encouragement to re- 
ceive offers of assistance from gentlemen of 
scientific prominence. It is with peculiar 
pleasure, therefore, that we present to our 
Chapters the following generous ofl'er from 
Dr. Austin P. Nichols, the senior editor of 
the Popular Science News : 

Haverhill, Mass., March i, 1S90. 
Dear Mr. Ballard : I shall be most happy to 
correspond with members of the Agassiz Associa- 
tion, and answer questions on the subjects of chem-' 
istry and physics, as far as it is in my power to do 
so. Very truly yours, 

Austin P. Nichols. 

Between last July, when the Siv/ss Cross 
— which for two years and a half had repre- 
sented our Association — was suspended, and 
January ist of this year, — when it was re- 
vivefl in connection with Santa C/atis, — a 
large number of new Chapters were admitted 
to the A. A., whose names and addresses all 
our friends will wish to see. We therefore 
give the list in full : 

No. of 
No. Name. Members 
833 Fall River, Mass. C .■> 

Lynwanl French, 23 Winter St. ( Afussachusetls 
ArclKFologicat Chapter.) 
833 Kent, Washington. A 4 

Uriah L. Herlz. (Audubon Chqitcr.) 
478 Ipswich, Mass. A 4 

.John Russell, Box 13«. 
823 riellalre,U. A 22 

Miss Nellie Bat'elle, Box l.itl. 
391 Mount Morris, 111. A 23 

Vinnie Stoner. 
402 Iilaho Springs, Col. A 9 

Walter W. Francis, Drawer F. 
411 Omaha, Ncl). A 13 

Miss Lillian liruner, 1236 S. 32il St. 
909 Brooklyn, N. Y. f .■) 

O. Doerflinger, 8.') Lafayette Ave. 
425 Norwood, Mass. A 3i> 

B. s. McLiesh. 
.554 Philadelphia, I'enn. Q 12 

Clarence H. Potter, 2127 Ureen St. 
976 Galveston, Texas. C 7 

K. D. Chase, M.D. 
776 Oakland, Cal. C 25 

V. K. Chestnut. 
431 Clielnisford, Mass. A 12 

Mrs. C. K. A. ISartlett. 
441 Valatle, N. Y. A 20 

Burt Ij. Wililer Sniffen. 
453 St. Albans, N. Y. A n 

Stewart W. Clark, 9 l!ugg St. 
818 Villa Park, Cal. A 10 

Miss Cora Hoyt. (Orange Co.) 
771 Adelaide. So. Austral la 100 

W. Catton orasby. 
463 Philadelphia, I'enn N ]8 

Albert II ISartlett, 1.538 Diamond St. 
.'iso Sau Jacinto, Cal. A 50 

Miss Klla Copeland, Grammar School. 
782 San Fnncisco, Cal. B 9 

J. Wilbur Logaii, 2228 Califoruia St. 
581 Milwaukee, Wis. I! 20 

Airs. Annie .1 Bradbury, 163 Mason St. 
791 Fennimore, Wis. A 21 

Miss Ada Phillick. 
471 Port Townsend, Wasiiington. A 4 

A. W.Miller, Box 92. 
801 Litchfleld, 111. A 4 

Lynnle S. Brown, Box .349. 
499 Greencastic, Ind. A 12 

Itobert S. .John. 
233 Baltimore, Md. A 13 

S. B. Austin, Baltimore Citv College. 
69 PIttsfield, Mass. B 13 

Miss Eillth Sellen, 30 Pomeroy Ave. 
1.50 San Francisco. Cal. A 4 

Miss Frances Al. L. Heaton, Abbotsford House, 
399 Sew York. N.'Y. 1 4 

Thomas B. Swift, 125 E. 88th St. ' 
005 Fo) t Scott, Kans. A 4 

I'. V. Phlnney, 740 Eddy St. 
502 Monroe, Wis. ((ircenCo.J A 1(5 

Miss (irace Green. 
107 Milan. 111. A : 12 

Fred. VV. Honens. 
639 Redlnnd, Cal. A 4 

Miss Mary G. Hale, Box 183. 
294 Brooklyn, .N. Y'. D 4 

Frederick T. Howard, 226 Lincoln PI. 

>'o. of 
No. Name. Jleuibers 
721 Warrenton, Mo. A 9 

I'rot. J. H. Frick, Central Wesleyan College. 
731 Kilbourne City, Wis. A 15 

Charles A. Chanter. 
741 North Plainlield, N..J. A 12 

Miss Calista B. Claypoole, 43 Grandview Ave. 
587 Cemre Ossipee, N. H. ' A 6 

Mrs. E. s. Luuiprey. 
752 Tuskegee, Ala. A 63 

Miss Annie M. Walker. 
763 Deer Lodge, .Montana. D 12 

W. B. liiaket, Box 10. 
530 Boston, Mas^. E 6 

John .J. Fay, North Gt'Ovc St. 
873 Peoria,Iil. C 4 

Frank K. Kinney, 220 Flora Ave. 
950 SwHrthiiiore, Pcnii. A 

Ellen C. II. OgdcM. 
443 Toronto. (Janada. B 5 

J. M. Keade, 1.54 Robert St. 
492 Reading, Mass. A 27 

Mrs. Ilelle P. Gowing. 
883 North Ware, N. II. A 4 

Luc.y P. Osborne. 
516 Shargorod, Podolsk, Russia. A 

Saslia Shepotieft', care Dr. Uziblo. 
525 Savinstzy, Poltava, Russia. A 

Miss jidia Lessevitch. 
.531 New Berlin, I'enn. A 14 

Sec. Central Pennsylvania College Chapter A. A . 
542 Falrfleld, Iowa B 14 

Arthui' .lordan. 
.555 Hampton, Va. A 14 

.Jackson Mundy. 
52 Mount I'nion College, Alliance, O. A 

V. N. Marsh. 
851 Weybridge, England. A 6 

Emllv McDowell, The Bungalow, Oatland Park. 
229 Denver, Col. A 6 

Robert E. Hill, 1225 Lincoln Ave. 
561 Wolverhampton, England 4 

Miss Phvllis I'wentvnian, Castle Croft. 
61 Philadelphi.T, Penn. E 4 

Charles II. Whan, .50.50 Green St., Germantown. 
579 Anthony, Harper Co., Kan 4 

582 Dixon, III. A 17 

II. U. Bardwell. 
841 Roswell, Ga 7 

Archibald Smith. 
591 Hyde Park, Mass. A 15 

Nc'.lle M. Howes, 37 Dell Ave 
861 Avalon, Los Angeles Co., Cal. A 6 

Mrs. .Sophia A. Whieler, Sauta Catalina Island. 
949 NewYork.NY. Z 25 

Heinrich Rics, 211 W. .5.3d St. 
173 Stamford, Conn. A 4 

Robert F. Crane, 206 Brunswick Block. 
448 Wa.shiiigt()U, D. C. <i 2 

Miss DuBari v. 1826 H St. 

81 Oxford, N Y. A 4 

Fred H. Law, Box 2. 

82 Brooklyn, N. y. B 32 

MLss Bertha Newell, 13.")5 P'acillc St. 
1.36 New Loudon, Conn. A 1 + 

Miss Mabel Terrv, 3 Macdonald St. 
.388 Philadelphia, Penn". M 5 

Chai-les Morris, 2.5.30 Girard Ave. 
482 Ovid, Seneca Co., N. Y A 7 

Miss Sarah Ilornbeck. 
4 IjH Crosse, \V is. A 4 

Mrs. D. S. McArthur, 1103 Main St. 
903 Nancy, France. A 5 

Mile. Catherine de Metz Nolilat, 27 Rue de la 
914 Boxford, Mass. A 6 

Edmund .1. \Voodman, care Rev. C. E. Park. 
4S Fitcliburg, Mass. A 31 

Prof E. A. Hartwell, Box 1685. 
S>4 Fall River, Mass. I! 17 

Lynward French, Bo.x 45. 
922 Olierlin.CJ. A 5 

Charles A. Kofoid. 
934 Bourbounais Grove, 111. A 24 

James J. Condon, St. Viateur's University. 
942 NewYork.N.Y. Y ". 7 

Fred P. Kafka, 10.54 Ave. A. 
9.55 Newport, It. I. B ; 5 

Miss F^liza P. Siniiuons, Green End. 
27 Plttsliurgh, Penu. A , 40 

l*rof. Guslave Gutlenberg, Central High School. 
16 Kerr City, Fl a. A 

Arthur P. Lewis. 
962 Vallejo,Cnl. B 4 

R. L. Cassady. 




It is moved and seconded that the Agassiz 
Association make an exhibit of its work at 
the coming celebration of the discovery of 
America by Columbus. The motion is as 
follows : 

At the eighty-third I'cgular meeting of Chapter 
421, East Providence Centre, R. L, it was unani- 
mously resolved to make a motion that the Agassiz 
Association exhibit at the World's Fair of iSt;2. — 
Joseph Bridgham, Sec. 

This motion has been seconded b}' Chapter 
949 (Z), New York, N. Y., and it is now 

»^ Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] , 



: before the Association for discussion. It 
will, of course, involve a great deal of labor 
and no little expense ; but, if the Chapters 

. should enter into the scheme with enthusiasm, 
we could make an exhibit that would com- 
mand attention. The collections of all our 
Chapters, if ranged side by side, would not 
only occupy a large space, but would fairly 
represent the varied and abounding natural 

.products of America. Photographs of our 

' local societies, of their rooms, apparatus, 
libraries, and of local scenerv should be 
added. There would be a place for all the 
publications that have been issued by Chap- 
ters or individuals connected in an}' way with 
the A. A. G':-ological and botanical charts 
and maps, sketches, note-books, and manu- 
script papers should be added. These, 
together with our charters, badges of all the 
various styles, banners, and other emblems, 
would form a collection not unworthj- a place 
even in so imposing an exposition as will be 
that of 1S92. 

Mr. Uriah L. Hertz, President of our 
Audubon Chapter in Kent, Wasliington, 
writes: "I should, like to see our society 
represented in some attractive manner at the 
coming World's Fair. A small, unique 
pavilion, — built by subscription, — with the 
collections, map«, etc., would be appropriate, 
I think. I will subscribe, for one." 

Now I shall not undertake to rival one of 
the great New York papers, by oH'ering large 
prizes for the greatest number of the brightest 
Ideas with regard to a possible representation 
of our Association in 1892, but I hope to 
hear from every Chapter that feels an interest 
ill this matter, either pro or con. Say par- 
ticularly whether your Chapter would con- 
tribute its share toward making such an 
exhibit worthy of the Association, and 
whether it would subscribe toward the 
necessary expenses. Suggestions of ways 
and means of making an interesting and 
attractive display will be especially welcome. 


The Isaac Lea Chapter of the A. A. is one 
of our so-called "Corresponding Chapters" 
— that is, it is composed, not of members 
united by their residence in a common town, 
but of those who, though scattered through- 
out the whole country, are united by a 
common interest in conchology. The Presi- 
dent of the Isaac Lea Chapter is Professor 
Josiah Keep, of Mills College, California. 
Professor Keep is well known among scien- 
tific men, and is the author of "West Coast 
Shells, ".and "Common Sea-Shells of Cali- 
fornia." Under date of Jan. 17, Professor 
Keep writes : "I was surprised to receive 
notice, a few days Since, that I had been 
elected President of the Isaac Lea Chapter of 
the A. A. I will accept the office, and will 

endeavor to perform its duties faithfully. I 
have long taken the Popular Scienxe 
News, and am pleased to see that you are 
to have a department in that excellent paper. 
I desire to increase the interest in conchology 
among the members of the Association." 

We congratulate the Chapter that it has 
secured so able and kindly a gentleman for 
its leader. Was there ever before so good an 
opportunity for young and old to make them- 
selves familiar with the beautiful and curious 
shells that lie scattered along their paths, and 
under the waters of the brooks and ponds in 
their vicinity' .' No one is so young, so iso- 
lated, or so humble, that he will not be wel- 
comed to this earnest circle of shell-hunters ; 
and there are in it men able and willing to 
give freely and only too gladly, all the inlbr- 
mation anyone may need about whatever 
specimens he may find. The membership 
of the Isaac Lea Chapter ought to double* in 
a month. All are invited to join it. 


259. ^ Double R.\Nr.NciLus Tr.\cf.d uv a 
Stream of Water. — I found lasfspring a double- 
flowered specimen of lianiinculns, growing in Uie 
moist ground by tlie railroad. The species seemed 
to be closely allied to li. repens, as shown by the 
foliage and manner of growth. The flowers were 
perfectly double, all the stamens and pistils being 
changed to petals. This fact led me to the conclu- 
sion that the plant had escaped from cultivation, as 
I have not heard of an instance in which flowers 
have become perfectly double naturally. So I set 
myself to find out, if possible, how it had escaped, 
and from where. There is a small stream which 
runs by the place where the plant was found. 
Thinking some root-stalks might have become 
detached and brought down by this stream, I fol- 
lowed it up some distance to a place where it runs 
along the roadside. Here I found another specimen 
of the plant, and in a dooryard near by were others 
of the same kind, which had evidently, been culti- 
vated. I considered this satisfactory evidence that 
the plant had escaped from cultivation. There is a 
specimen of a similar plant in the New York State 
herbarium. It came from the central part of the 
State. Prof Peck, Staie botanist, says that it is the 
only specimen he ever saw. He came out to the 
place and collected specimens of it, and he has since 
written me that he compared it with the true Jt. 
repens, and that he considers it a cultivated form of 
that species. — Cornelius L. Shear, (member of 
Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter), Union Church, 
N. Y. 

260. Remarkable Insect Intelligence. — We 
happened to witness a curious fight between"^ wasp 
and a black-faced boring-bee. We had noticed dead 
bees lying on the ground beneath their holes, which 
were in the side of a wooden out-building, but had 
not before known what killed them. The wasp was 
metallic black and blue. It was busy at one of the 
bee-holes. Near by was an asparagus-bed, full of 
bushy and dry old plants. On looking closely, we 
saw that the wasp was holding a piece of one of the 
branches of an asparagus-plant, and was trying to 
pry the bee out of Jiis hole. The bee had his body 
at the entrjtnce of the hole, the sting pointing out- 
ward, and was buzzing angrily. The wasp held his 

weapon firmly with his mouth, supporting it by his 
legs. About a quarter of an inch of the twig pro- 
jected in front of him. Suddenly he dropped his 
stick, but immediately flew to the asparagus-bed 
and proceeded to cut himself another. He lit on a 
bush, and cut a branch off near the main stem, and 
then cut off the opposite end. He then had a little 
lance about an inch in length, and a little larger 
round than a pin's head. Then he charged the bee 
again, and began prying as before. The wasp 
dropped his stick again, but, not at all discouraged, 
cut himself another, and this he did several times. 
At last he succeeded in getting into the hole, and 
stood his lance straight up in it.- I did not see him 
after that, but suppose he killed the bee. I have 
heard it said that animals do not make use of 
"tools," but this observation seems to show that 
they can add to their means of offense when their 
natural powers are not sufficient. Connecting the 
dead bees with what we saw, there is reason to con- 
clude that the wasp was killing the bees and taking 
their quarters for his own purposes. — George M. 

[The foregoing account seemed to us so unusual, 
ihat a letter was written, asking the corroboration 
of the second witness implied in the word "we." 
The answer is appended.. — Editor.] 

Dear Sir : You may accept without hesitatinu the report 
maic by my son of the encounter of a wasp with a bee. I was 
present and witnessed the occurrence. The circumst'inces were 
favorable to accurate observation. The asparagus-bed from 
wliich the wasp cut his staves, was not more than six feet from 
the bee's hole, and we were about midway. The wasp was so 
absorlied in his work that he seemed not to notice our presence, 
and we were thus enabled to approach very near him while 
engaged with the bee, as well as when cutting ami trimming 
the slender tips of the dry asparagus-stems. His aggressive 
air, steel-blue wings, and blue-black, shining body, suggested 
the idea of a knight in armor forcing, lance in hand, the 
stronghold of an enemy. This incident occurred in the latter 
part of the summer of 1SS7; the exact date was not noted. We 
kept a bright lookout last sunnner, hoping for a repetition, but 
were disappointed. Respectfully yours, 

John M. Hrookk. 

Professor of Physics, Virginia Military Institute. 



595, Oneonta, N. Y. , [A]. — Our Chapter has been 
organized five years, and during that time we have 
analyzed and identified three hundred and fourteen 
phanerogamous plants, twenty-one ferns, seven or 
eight sedges and grasses, and four or five lycopo- 
diums. This list includes scarcely any cultivated 
plants, and, with very few exceptions, all were found 
within easy walking distance of our hoines. We 
think we have quite a fair knowledge of our native 
flora. Our little wild garden has been a great 
assistance in our studies. Frequently we find young 
plants with which we are unacquainted, and trans- 
plant them to our garden, where we can observe 
their growth, blossoms, and fruit. But it would 
have been impossible to have visited them in the 
woods at exactly the right time for analyzing. The 
Situation of the plot is unfavorable, being too dry 
and not shady enough. For this reason, many of 
the prettiest plants die, and, as the worthless ones 
are pulled up, our garden never presents a very 
showy appearance. A few days ago I overheard a 
farmer, who was looking at it, say, in a very em- 
phatic and somewhat disgusted tone, " Well, that 
don't amount to much 1 ' I suppose he could not 
see much that to him looked valuable, but if he 
could have seen the knowledge we have gained 
from that littU bit of earth, he would have con- 
cluded that there was much more there than could 
be seen. We find the plan has many advantages, 
and it cannot be too strongly recommended. We 
were greatly interested in two articles about "Many 



[ApitiL, 1S90. 

Idle Weeds," which appeared in the Swiss Cross in 
18S7. We were familiar with all the plants men- 
tioned, except the early saxifrage. This spring we 
found on some rocks over which we had passed 
many times, a cluster of leaves, which we brought 
home. When the flowers came, what was our sur- 
prise and delight to find it was the very Saxifraga 
Virgeniensis that we had wished to see. — Jessie 
Elvira Jenks, Sec. 

718, Athens, O., [A]. — Our Chapter was organ- 
ized in October, 1S88, with six members. We held 
our first meeting November 3. i888. We have been 
very successful under the supervision of Prof Mor- 
rill. We meet in his office every two weeks, and 
examine specimens. We have given more attention 
to zoology than any other branch. We have the 
use of a very fine compound microscope. We have 
a pretty good collection of animals, rocks, and min- 
erals. — Ralph Super, Sec. 

7H, Glen Falls, N. Y., [A].— There has been a 
thorough reorganization of this Chapter during the 
past year. Under the able management of the 
scientific instructor in the Glens Falls Academy, 
Mr. C. L. Williams, new members have been brought 
in and are doing good work in various branches of 
natural history, particularly in botany. The num- 
ber of active members is fifteen. Meetings are held 
every Tuesday evening. Miss Frances T. E. Boyd 
has been elected Secretary in my place. — Walter 
W. Haviland. 

744, New Brunswick, N. J., [A].— The work o 
the society in the last year has been to maintain a 
lecture course in popular science. The lecturers 
and their subjects were as follows : 

Rev. Dr. Powers — "Machinery." 
Mr. Isaac Holden — *'.Sea-Weeds." 

Dr. E. H. Jenkins— "Agency of Insects in the Fertilization 
of Seeds." 
Mr. Jacob A. Ries— "The Other Half." 
Mr. J. C. Bayles — "Common Sense Hygiene." 
Prof. A. C. Apzar— "Animal Life in the Sea." 
Prof. D. P. Todd — "An Astronomer's Visit to Japan." 
Prof. A. L. Willis— "The Human Face." 
Prof. J. Nelson— "The Life of an Oyster." 
Prof. E. A. Bowser— "Comets and Meteors." 
Prof. S. H. Cook— "The Ice Age." 
Mr. H. H. Ballard— "Curiosity and Credulity." 
Prof. S. Lockwood — "Diatoms." 

Rev. T. F. Clark— "Knapsack Journey of the World." 
Dr. T. O'C. Sloane — "Simple Scientific Experiments." 

Most of the lectures were illustrated by specimens, 
charts, maps, stereopticon, or gas-microscope. They 
were given in the chapel of Rutgers College. The 
attendance varied from 100 to 450. The total 
attendance is estimated at 4,(»oo.— Peter T. Austen, 
Pres. ; Harriet I. Anable, Sec. ; George L. Shirler, 
Treas. ; Amanda L. Voorhees, Asst. Sec. ; W. H. 
Myers, Chief Usher; P. Belts, in charge of appara- 
tus; G. II. Mitchell, in charge of stage; U. B. 
Ennis, Canvasser and Collector. 

949, New York, N. Y., [Z].— The past year has 
been a very successful one in our history. Our 
membership, both active and corresponding, has 
increased. Meetings have been held fortnightly, 
and the following are some of the papers that have 
been read: "Ferns," "Dwellings of Primitive 
Man," "Teeth," "Proiococciis viridis," "Micro- 
scopical Fungi,". " Caddis-fly Cases," "Occurrence 
of Hyalite in New York City," "Extinct Feathered 
Forms," "Salamanders," "Ascidians," "The Hu- 
man Mind," "International Weights and Meas- 
ures," "Trout Culture." Very instructive classes, 
which proved of great interest to the members, 
have been conducted in geology and mineralogy. 

On March 2, 1889, we held our third annual exhibi- 
tion, which was largely attended. It is surprising 
to find, at the end of the year, how many names our 
" Visitors' Book" contains. In April, 1889, a course 
of lectures was delivered by Mr. William Freeland, 
LL. D., under the auspices of the Chapter, on 
Rome, Pompeii, and Naples. These were beauti- 
fully illustrated by colored lantern-slides, prepared 
for the occasion. The proceeds of the lectures en- 
abled us to enlarge our cabinets and pay other 
expenses. At present we have a surplus of $22 in 
the treasury. Our library is in a flourishing condi- 
tion, and contains fifty-two bound and eighty-five 
unbound volumes. The collections have been 
greatly increased during the year. The minerals 
have been arranged and catalogued by Mr. G. 
Stanton, and our collection of New York City 
minerals has become of such value that our rooms 
are visited by local collectors for the purpose of 
seeing our rare specimens. Several hundred insects 
have been donated, as well as a number of plants, 
especially cryptogams. A number of excursions 
have been made to points in the vicinity, and sev- 
eral sj^lendid collecting-grounds found. Within a 
short time we hope to issue a report of our work, 
upon which we are now busily engaged. Several 
persons have joined us as corresponding tneinbers, 
and we should like to hear from more. — Heinrich 
Ries, Columbia College, Cor. Sec. 

536, Long Ashton Lodge, Clifton-Bristol, Eng- 
land. — One of our members has been elected to the 
British Conchological Society of Great Britain and 
Ireland. She has twice observed a Testacella 
mangei devoured alive by Achaiince and "wire- 
worms." She has found Clausilia Rolphii, Helix 
aciiteata, and Zoniies fulviis, besides a curiously dis- 
torted Helix rvfescens. We have a present from our 
President of some valuable eggs, among them those 
of the buzzard, crane, Egyptian vulture and grifTon 
vulture. Mrs. Falloon, Long Ashton Vicarage, 
will be pleased to correspond with members with a 
view to exchange. — Theo. L. Dyke, Sec. 

Reports from the Fifth Century (Chapters 
401-500) should reach the President by May i. 

All are invited to j'oin the Agassiz Asso- 
ciation, either as corresponding members or 
by forming Chapters. Local societies of 
kindred aims are especially invited to unite 
with us. No surrender of present name, 
purpose, methods. Or independence is re- 
quired. Application blanks sent on request. 
Address, Harlan II. Ballard, President A. A., 
Pittsfield, Mass. 

[Written for "The Out-Door World."] 



Of the Agassiz Association. 
For a number of days in last July, I was in the 
vicinity of Point Hope, Alaska, and made frequent 
visits to the village of Tigarah, and the neighboring 
cemetery, which is one of the largest on the Arctic 
coast, and extends over most of the Point west of 
the village. Here the Innuits place their dead — not 
in graves, but upon platforms, raised, perhaps, four 
feet from the ground on four rude posts. In the 
older cemeteries these posts are the' ribs of whales, 
but in the newer portions wooden' supports are used. 
Upon these platforms the bodies lie flat on their 
backs, with their heads toward the east. I was care- 

ful at first not to let the natives see me disturbing 
their dead, but I soon found that they did not mind 
it; at least, they made no expression of disapproval. 

The heavy winter gales play sad havoc wjth the 
bodies, particularly the older ones, scattering the 
bones about in every direction. By digging care- 
fully in the loose sand between the whale-bone 
uprights that marked the location of an old plat- 
form, I found quantities of flint and bone arrow- 
heads, slate knives, bone adzes, and various pieces 
of broken bows, sleds, and snow-shoes; but in the 
more recent ground were found pieces of guns. 
bullets, steel knives, and the like, for the whalers 
have taught the Eskimo the use of modern imple- 
ments. Near one of the old posts I found fragments 
of a coarse black pottery, evidently portions of a 
good-sized bowl, of considerable interest to me, for 
I did not find any pottery among the natives at the 
village. They used metal utensils, obtained from 
the whalers in exchange for whale-bone, furs, and 

A party of us landed one day just in time to wit- 
ness the ending of a funeral ceremony. The body 
— that of a woman — had already been wrapped in 
skin blankets, and placed in an open box supported 
above the ground. At the head was gathered a 
party consisting of the inother, three other women, 
a man, and several children. The mother was sit- 
ting on the ground beside a small fire, smoking, 
while the others were arranging some garments. 
As we approached, one of the women gathered up 
the remaining clothes of the dead, and, tearing 
them into strips, scattered them about on the 
ground. When this was done, the old man took a 
black stone and made a mark on the ground behind 
the mother, who had moved a little way from the 
fire. Then, handing the stone to the next, she, too, 
made a mark; and so with each one, the old woman 
moving a little each time, until a circle was com- 
pleted. Inside this circle the mother knelt, and, 
muttering something, dropped the stone down 
inside her outer garment, or parka; and so in 
succession each of the others — even to the little 
children, some of whom had to be held while the 
stone was dropped inside their 2^'^rkas for them. 
The old man gathered up an armful of articles, 
and, placing some in the box near the head of the 
dead, took his place at the head of the line that had 
been formed, and in single file they marched around 
the foot of the platform, back to the village. 

In a good many cases, I founri small strips of 
fresh whale-blubber, or r/iitkiiik, placed at the head 
of the dead, on three small, flat stones, arranged to 
form a triangle, with the apex towards the head. 
All articles left with the dead are first broken or 
torn. Bows, arrows, and sleds are broken so as to 
make them useless, and all clothing and blankets 
are torn to pieces. The natives will not use articles 
found upon a corpse, believing they will bring them 
bad luck. 

At the villages of Noo-wook, at Point Barroiv, and 
Oo-tiah-wik, at Cape Smyth, tlie natives dispose of 
tne dead in a somewhat different manner. They 
are wrapped in their skin blankets as before, but, 
instead of being placed on frames, they are dragged 
a short distance from the village, where, with pegs 
driven through their clothing, they are ■ securely 
fastened on top of the ground, and, like the others, 
with their heads to the east. Formerly, however, 
the natives say, they buried their dead under the 
ground ; and a little way behind the old signal- 
station, the ground is dotted over with numerous 
small mounds, from which may be recovered various 
relics of the past. 

According to Brown and Morris, the molecular 
weight of soluble starch is 32,400. 

Vol. XXrV. No. 4.] 



Slje Popular Scieqce I^ews. 

BOSTON, APRIL i, 1890. 


WILLIAM J. ROLFE, LiTT.D., . AesociiUe Editor. 

The eminent astronomer Schiaparelli, 
of the Milan Observatory, lias published the 
results of his observations upon the planet 
Mercurv, by which' he is led to conclude that 
the time of its rotation on its axis is the same 
as that of its revolution around the sun, viz., 
87.9693 days, its motions being thus analo- 
gous to those of the moon. It has long been 
noticed that the markings in the disk of Mer- 
cury, when observed at the same hour on 
consecutive days, were identical in their 
aspect, but the opinion of Schroter, that this 
was due to the rotation time of Mercury being 
nearly the same as that of the earth, has been 
generally accepted. The brilliant result ob- 
tained by the Italian astronomer is of great 
theoretical importance, and may lead to im- 
portant changes in our theories of celestial 

ently condensed, i. e., 2C28 in the first, 2C-2-2 
in the second, and 3C1G in the third. The 
important bearing of these researches upon 
the theory of the elements will readily be 
recognized by chemists. 

A puobahle new element is announced by 
Grunwald, who concludes that the assumed 
elements tellurium, antimony, and copper 
contain traces of a new, hitherto unknown 
element, of Mendeleefl''s eleventh series. It 
is on the one hand related to tellurium, and 
on the other hand very clo.sely to bismuth. 
It is very probably identical with the element 
of group VI., series ii,- having the approxi- 
mate atomic weight 212, and also with Dr. 
B. Brauner's "Austriacum" recently dis- 
covered in tellurium. It is not stated 
whether the supposed new clement exists 
simply as an impurity,' in the old elements 
in which it occurs, or whether the last named 
are to be considered as compound bodies, 
composed of two hitherto unrecognized ele- 
ments, but the former supposition seems 
much the more probable. 

Berthelot and Petit have been studying 
the constitution and chemical relations of the 
forms of carbon known as graphites, and 
have obtained results which are of great 
interest and importance from a theoretical 
standpoint. They claim to have discovered 
three different forms of graphite, which form 
three definite series of permanent chemical 
compounds. Each graphite would thus rep- 
resent a different simple radical. For in- 
stance, there are three distinct graphitic 
oxides : that of the graphite of cast-metal 
contains 62.7 per cent, of carbon, that of 
amorphous graphite (plumbago) contains 
■56. 2 per cent., and that of electric carbon 
51.9 per cent. The comparison may be 
made by admitting that one and the same 
proportion of oxygen, such as Ok;, is com- 
bined in the three bodies to carbons differ- 

The present winter, although of unex- 
ampled mildness on shore, has been note- 
worthy among seamen for the terrible storms 
which have swept o\er the North Atlantic 
Ocean. Few steamers sailing between the 
United States and Europe have made their 
passages without suflering more or less dam- 
age from wind and waves. A correspondent, 
referring to this subject, asks how so much 
damage can be done by a wave if, as is gen- 
erally held, it has no progressive motion as a 
mass of water. It is true that any given 
particle of water in an ocean wave has merely 
a vertical, or up and down motion, and that 
it is only the motion o^ the water that pro- 
gresses, and not the water itself; but the fact 
is that the damage is done by the breaking up 
of the crest of a wave, at the proper moment 
to allow the mass of water composing it to 
sweep over the vessel with almost irresistible 
force. A similar occurrence may be observed 
at the sea-shore at any time, when the waves 
may be seen rolling quietly in toward the 
shore, and giving little indication of the 
energy stored up in them till they .strike the 
rocks or the beach, when the crest rolls over, 
and the whole mass of water breaks up and 
is precipitated forward with great force. 
This tendency of waves to break up can be 
prevented by spreading oil upon the 'water. 
The effect is almost magical, and many ves- 
sels have been saved from foundering by its 
use. It is estimated that a film of oil 
1-200,006 of an inch in thickness will prevent 
this "combing" tendency of the waves, and 
transform them into smooth, long swells, 
over which the vessel rides in safety. 

Another eccentricity of this remarkable 
season was a thunder-storm which occurred 
on the evening of February iSth. A thunder- 
storm in winter, during a period of warm 
weathtr, is not uncommon in this vicinity, 
but it is very unusual during the ordinary 
winter weather, with- the ground covered 
with snow, and a temperature near zero. 
The storm was brief, but violent. The 
lightning struck the wires of the electric 
street-railroad in Cambridge, and passed to 
the ground through a car, doing no harm, but 
badly frightening the passengers. Take it 
all together, we doubt if even the traditional 
"oldest inhabitant" can remember a season 
equal to the winter which has just passed. 

A FEW months ago, a man convicted of a 
most atrocious crime was pardoned from the 
Massachusetts State Prison, for no apparent 
reasons except that he promised to be good, 

and had enough money to interest outsiders 
to work for his release. He had scarcely 
been at liberty six weeks before he murdered 
his own brother in cold blood, in order that 
he might inherit some of his property. This 
sad affair ought to be a lesson both to those 
crack-brained philanthropists who waste so 
much sjmpath)- upon their unfortunate 
friends, the criminals, and for those State 
Officials who weakly consent to the liberation 
of such beasts in human form, to again com- 
mence their warfare upon society.- The 
crime for which this man was first convicted 
was well worth}' of death, and the least that 
the public can demand of their legislative 
servants is, that such crimes shall be made 
unpardonable, except upon proof of inno- 

The story, related in another column, of 
the fight between a wasp and a bee, is cer- 
tainly a most remarkable one, although well 
authenticated. That a wasp should have 
sufficient intelligence to make and use an 
artificial weapon to aid him in the combat, is 
most surprising, and shows a higher mental 
capacity than that possessed by some men. 
The great development of the intellectual 
faculties in certain insects, like wasps and 
bees, is a fact very difficult of explanation, 
and it is only an evasion of the difficulty to 
call it "instinct." Although the faculty of 
instinct does exist, in tiie human race as well 
as animals, yet it is often impossible to dis- 
tinguish it from reason, as in the case referred 
to above. 1 

Mr. C. a. Stephens, of Norway Lake, 
Maine, oflers three cash prizes of $175, $125, 
and $100 for the best three comparative dem- 
onstrations, as to the causes of failing nutri- 
tion in aging organisms, by means of micro- 
scopical slides, of the blood capillaries in 
young and in aged tissues, canine or human. 
Circulars giving full particulars will be sent 
on application. 


It is not going too far to say that the 
modern sciences of chemistry and physics 
are based upon theories which have never 
been proved to be true, but are, possibly, or 
even probably, unprovable. The two funda- 
mental conceptions regarding matter and 
energy — the atoms and the ether — are 
assumptions, pure and simple, and the only 
justification we have for assuming their ex- 
istence is the very strong one that they per- 
fectly explain all the observed phenomena, 
and, even further, that by reasoning from 
them as a basis, we can predict what phe- 
nomena will occur under previously untried 
conditions, and have our prediction fulfilled 
when the proposed conditions are obtained. 

Take, for a single instance, the theory of 
atoms. It is a fact of common osbervation 


[April, 1S90. 

that all bodies, but especially gases, vary in 
volume or size under varying conditions of 
temperature and pressure. Now the human 
mind can form only two possible conceptions 
of matter — that it is perfectly continuous, or 
it is discontinuous. If a cubic inch of air, 
for instance, or the mercury in a thermome- 
ter, were perfectly continuous, or one solid 
lump of matter, so to speak, we cannot con- 
■ ceive of any way in which its volume could 
change ; but we know that it does change, 
and we are therefore driven almost inevitably 
to the belief that matter is made up of sepa- 
rate particles (or atoms), separated from each 
other by empty spaces, like a swarm of gnats, 
to use a rough illustration. The atomic 
weights and other chemical phenomena are 
hardly explainable upon any other theory 
than the mutual attractions of excessively 
minute but perfectly definite and unalterable 
masses of matter. 

But are the spaces between the atoms 
empty "i Here we meet with another diffi- 
culty, for we know that energv, in the forms 
of light, heat, electricity, etc., not only 
passes readily through matter, but also across 
the inter-stellar spaces, where, for various 
reasons, we cannot admit the presence of 
matter in the forms familiarly known to us. 
We cannot conceive of energy or force trav- 
ersing an absolute vacuum. The very exist- 
ence of energy seems to be conditioned by 
the presence of matter. We are, therefore, 
driven to another assumption — that of the 
ether, which is supposed to be an extremely 
subtle form of matter, as much lighter than 
common gases, as these exceed solids and 
liquids in tenuity, which not only fills the 
inter-stellar spaces of the entire imiverse, but 
the inter-atomic (or, more properly, the inter- 
molecular) spaces of all forms of matter 
itself. But, if the ether is matter, — and if it 
is not it has no existence, — then it must be 
constituted very differently from other forms 
of matter with which we are acquainted, and 
possess a combination of qualities — such as 
low density and high elasticit}- — which are 
not possessed by any other form of matter of 
which we have knowledge. 

We have no actual and definite knowledge 
as to how matter is constituted, how energy 
is transmitted, or what light, heat, electricity, 
chemical aflSnity, etc., i-eally are, and we are 
hardly able to thoroughly differentiate matter 
and energy themselves. Certain scientists 
have considered them nearly identical, hold- 
ing that atoms are but centers of attractive 
force, or of vortices in the ether, like the 
rings of smoke blown from the chimney of a 
locomotive. We think that scarcely a single 
scientist of repute would claim to absolutely 
believe in the existence of either atoms or the 
ether. They simply stand as expressions by 
which observed phenomena can be formu- 
lated, or, as illustrated by Professor Cooke, 

they are but the scaffolding of an uncompleted 
building, to be removed when our system of 
the philosophy of Nature is complete, but in 
the present condition b'f knowledge serving a 
useful if not indisjjensable purpose. 

The more we search into the mysteries of 
Nature, the more incomprehensible we find 
them, and the more clearly we perceive the 
limitations of our present knowledge. It 
sometimes seems as ii we miist reason from a 
psychological standpoint, and refer natural 
phenomena to a subjective basis. But this is 
merely a fanciful speculation ; the course of 
knowledge is ever onward, and we have no 
occasion for discouragement. We have but 
little doubt that in time many, if not all, of 
the jsroblems of Nature will be solved, and 
shown to have a material and objective ex- 
istence ; and it is not impossible that we may 
obtain a comprehension of the true nature of 
vital force, or life itself, which we cannot but 
consider as the key to all those other mysteries 
which now perplex that manifestation of our 
being which we call the mind, or soul. 

[Original in Popular Scievce NtWH.\ 


The mineral wealth of New Mexico has been 
known — and, tradition asserts, has been partially 
developed — for more than three centuries. But the 
general exploration and real general development 
of the mineral resources of the Territory only com- 
menced less than nine years ago. It was not until 
geological and mineralogical surveys had been 
achieved and reported to the national government, 
and the coming of the means of transportation had 
become 'in a.ssured fact, that the development began 

The resources of the Territory consist not only of 
its mines of precious metals, but likewise of nickel, 
copper, lead, manganese (sulphate and carbonate), 
iron, and cobalt; also mica, salt, gypsum, soda, 
arsenic, alum, coal, borax, tellurium, lime, sulphur, 
plumbago, mineral paints, silicates, many precious 
stones and gems, — topaz, rubies or garnets, ame- 
thyst, emerald, sapphire, olivine, chalcedony, obsid- 
ian, smoky quartz, opal, agates, — besides, of course, 
rich mines of gold and silver. The mining districts 
found in the dillerent ranges of mountains are 
prospectively rich, and in importance dwarf all 
other interests. 

The Organ Mountains lie about eighteer) miles 
east of the Rio Grande. Several mines are in oper- 
ation, and the work is being steadily prosecuted. 
Every claim has a heavy iron capping, and carries 
both gold and silver. The Jarillas district, known 
as the Silver Hills, is due east from Shedd's ranch, 
twenty miles. Here an old civilization has left 
positive signs of having sunk shafts and wrought 
out the precious metals ; and the dumps of unused 
ore, thought unworthy the labor necessary for 
carrying away and packing long distances to be 
smelted, is now found to yield a good profit under 
more modern methods and with improved means of 
transportation. The great trouble is lack of water. 
There are irrigating methods — sinking artesian 
wells, digging trenches, and. securing the rainfall — 
which will revolutionize and develop the enormous 
mineral wealth of the Jarrilas district, if enough 
water is secured to use for washing purposes. 

There are reports of the vivid possibilities of the 

Socorra and Rincon districts. A rapid investiga- 
tion showed the existence ol wealth-producing ores. 
The great water-sheds of these districts have been 
denuded by electric and atmospheric agencies of the 
long ago. The country where lie the sources of 
the tributaries, in the wet season, of the Rio del 
Norte, takes the character of savage grandeur in 
its sterile rocks and bold elevations. Broad beds of 
gravel and sand lie between the clifts of syenite, 
which is combined with other minerals — sand- 
stone, arbolite, porphyry, and quartz — in mass. 
In many places it bears evidence of having 
undergone a roasting, the residuum filling 
the surrounding cavities. The combinations of 
quartz and feldspar, that in different localities bear 
mineral-producing lodes, from the dome rocks of 
the clearly defined leads that penetrate the moun- 
tain, extend from the mountain peaks to the plain, 
within the mineral belt. Sometimes near the main 
river, more frequently in the dry gulches opening 
to the stream, nearly always at the heads of the 
lesser streams, wherever the stift" slale is exposed, 
the color of gold is found. Wherever the gray slate 
is exposed, the auriferous strata suiTiciently denuded, 
and the bars of diorite known as gold-bearing ore 
exposed, payable deposits of gold are usually found. 

The regions where gold, silver, and the many 
valuable mineral deposits must be sought, are often 
wrapped in the deepest solitude. The beetling 
cliff's drop down from the barren table-land .above, 
and gaunt, skulking coyotes wake the echoes with 
their nightly howls. A loneliness so deep and 
terrifying as to overshadow and palsy every effort 
to forget the benumbing stillness prevails. There 
are none of the signs of human interest or vivid lit- 
tering of life in the untrodden paths and unfenced 
roadways and natural boundaries to the land. The 
senses are constantly reminded of the great waste, 
and it seems impossible that common effort and" 
occupation can survive amid such few adjuncts of 
congeniality and the unkindliness of .so bare a field. 

The occupation of the Rincon mines by specu- 
lators who " boomed " all known leads, and a trip 
to the Sierra Cabella range to follow out some leads 
reported to be worthy oi notice, led into the heart 
of a ghostly, ghastly, God-forgotten land, the trail 
tending ever onward through the scoriated, fiery 
desert of desolation. Boulders strew the surface of 
the plain, and the view is bounded by a horizon of 
low cliffs, wind-wrought into the shape of monu- 
ments and ruined fortifications, dreary and tame to 
a degree. Not one blade of grass, not a tree ; noth- 
ing of beauty, nothing of grandeur; — grease-wood 
and sage-brush, and a liery ball in a brazen sky over 
all; only gray and brown tones in all this desolate 
landscape; the only signs of life, the skulking 
coyote and the slow-sailing buzzard. After a tiine, 
we strike low conglomerate foot-hills, and ascend 
one after another, only to again descend. After 
incredible toil, we strike a savage, narrow glen, 
lying between two mountain spurs, the sides of 
which were covered with chapparal and gamma 
grass — a growth which is never green, nor does it * 
ever wither, but is very nutritious, and was most 
acceptable food for our weary, jaded horses. Soon 
we emerged by the dry channel of a creek, crossed 
in places by broad veins of slate. Travelling slowly 
along the worn water-way, we examined a drift 
place where the gravel and sand was collected above 
a slaty bar of bare rock. Just below were three 
Mexicans, engaged in scooping up the deposit, and, 
using the water from their skin bags, rinsed the 
gravel from the collection in their pans. Propitiat- 
ing them by giving them some tobacco, they allowed 
us to see the shine of the pure, lustrous metal. 

The wildest excitement prevailed, fatigue van- 
ished, the proper steps for securing possession were 

Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] 



taken, and, when evening came with its grateful 
coolness, the country erstwhile so desolate, dreary, 
and forbidding, was found to have developed into an 
enchanted region. Tlie test to this wonderful find 
proved its value, and the region which was an 
epitome of desolation, covered now bj' hope of 
golden treasures, swelled away to a fairy gleam of 
great opportunities. The purchase price duly paid, 
the three Mexicans established the legal claim to 
excellent plants, which, it is true, cost much to 
develop, the scarcity of water ever rendering any 
effort difficult. 

Reduction works of the best construction in con- 
centrator and milling are now in operation. Sul- 
phur, alum, coal, copper.- lead, and nickel are 
shipped from various points in. paying quantities. 
A good merchantable article of mica, produced in 
large quantities from the mica mines at Petaca, is 
being shipped to an eastern market. A Chicago 
company owns the mine, and the sheets — which 
are cut into sizes varying from two inches and a 
half by four, to twelve by twenty inches — are 
shipped at the Tres Piedres station to the east in 
marketable condition for the retail trade. 

Water and capita! are tlie necessary adjuncts to a 
good trade and much prosperity in developing the 
mineral wealth of New Mexico. 

[.Special Correspomjencc ot Popular Science New8.\ 


One of the scientific events of the last few days 
is the appearance of a new paper, published by G. 
Masson, and edited by MM. Cartailhac. Hamy, and 
Topniard. This paper is a review of exceedingly 
good exterior appearance, which is published every 
two months, and bears the name J,' Anthropologic. 
It is destined to take the place and functions of three 
other reviews, which now disappear, only to assume 
a new plumage and combine their forces in one 
; effort. The Materiaux pour I'llistoire de i' llorame, 
the Keviie d' Anthropolorjie, and the Revue d' Kthno- 
arapliie are things of the past; their individual 
existence has disappeared ; tliey live anew under a 
new form — L' Anihropologie. We will not complain. 
The writers of the three periodicals remain devoted 
to the fourth, and this last one assumes a more 
varied and interesting character, in the eyes of most 
readers. Among the papers published in the first 
number, just issued, (No. i, January-February, 
1890), the principal ones are : A paper by Topniard, 
on the skull of Charlotte Corday, who murdered 
Marat; one by O. Montelius, on the Bronze Age in 
Egypt, with many illustrations ; and one by S. 
Reinach, on the tomb of Vaphio. This tomb, dis- 
covered in Greece, belongy to the mycenian period 
of the pre-historical age of Greece, and is of great 
interest, as it certainly will give new documents on 
times concerning which but little is yet known. As 
to Charlotte Corday's skull, M. Topniard, the pupil 
of Broca, and one of the most able anthropologists, 
concludes by saying that it is a handsome and very 
regular woman's skull, delicate and well shaped, 
very similar to that of the average Parisian woman, 
in which the principal defect is a rather low fore- 
head. At all events, there is nothing very criminal 
in it, and neither Lombroso nor any other of the 
Italian school of criminalists, would venture to say 
that it is a criminal's skull. 

It has often been questioned by microbiologists 
whether pathogenetic microbes are not the ordinary 
and inoffensive ones which are well known to all, 
and which, for some reason or other, have acquired 
dangerous characters which endow them with the 
power of creating disease, while, under ordinary 
circumstances, they exert no appreciable bad influ- 
ence. MM. Rodet and Rouse believe that they have 

shown that the typhoid-fever bacillus is no other ! 
than the Bacillus coli communis, a bacillus which is 
ordinarily found in the intestines, toward their 
distal portion, and which is quite innocuous. Their 
experiments seem to show that between both types 
many passages are observed, which show that they 
are intimately related, and that the typhoid-fever 
bacillus is a degenerate and weakened form of the 
B. coli communis. The degeneracy seems to be 
produced by the influence of the spleen, and it is 
supposed by the authors that the Ji. coli communis 
becomes the typhoid-fever bacillus when it has been 
brought to the spleen, where various agencies oper- 
ate upon it and bring it to a state where it becomes 
simultaneously degenerate and harmful to the 
organism. It must, however, not be believed that 
the degeneracy usually originates in this manner. 
MM. Rodet and Rouse think that, as the Bacillus 
coli communis is innocuous so long as it remains in 
the intestines, but becomes dangerous after having 
been expelled with the fiecal matters, the degeneracy 
originates outside of the body, during the time the 
bacillus remains among the matters expelled. If 
true, this fact shows that not only typhoidic fx-cal 
matters, but all, without exception, are liable to 
pollute the water, and to render it poisonous and 
able to confer typhoid-fever, when drank by persons 
who are in a condition rendering the outbreak of 
the fever — that is, the multiplication and growth of 
the poisonous bacillus — an easy process. If things 
go on, I wonder who will dare to eat or drink, or 
touch anything, considering the number of dangers 
"ffesh is heir to," owing to the presence of those 
unamiable and highly unbidden guests that our 
body, our food, our drink, and all things generally 
swarm with of late I M.M. Rodet and Rouse's inter- 
esting paper has been published in the proceedings of 
the Societe de Jiiologie, an old established and very 
hard-working society of naturalists and physiolo- 
gists, whose only inconvenience is to be too liitle 
known abroad by biological workers. 

Biologists will be much interested in M. E. Yung's 
Propos Sdenlifiqut, a rather short book, published 
by Reinwald, in which the author, formerly assist- 
ant of Carl X'ogt in the Geneva University, has 
abstracted most of his original contributions to 
biology, and more especially to the influence exerted 
by various physical and chemical media on the 
development and growth of some organisms (frogs' 
eggs, principally.) At the present time, and es- 
pecially in America, where the study of the influ- 
ence of environment on organisms is the aim of a 
great number of naturalists, — of the neo-lamarckian 
school, as it is commonly called, — such researches 
are of great use, and call for a large public of 
readers. Large is perhaps an euphemism ; but it is 
clear that while in England pure Darwinism re- 
mains unattacked, in France and America biologists 
are considering that natural selection does not give 
all it pretends to give, and that some reason for 
variation must exist. If it exists, it can be dis- 
covered through observation or experiment, and 
must become so. Hence this very marked tendency 
towards the research for causes of variation in the 
influence of media or environment. If one con- 
siders how much influence the variations of media 
do exert on the biology of microbes, surely the influ- 
ence of media on higher organisms may be very 

Athletics are a good thing, but, like all good 
things, must be taken with discrimination, and it 
will not do to take too much of them. Oxygen also 
is a good thing, but if you take too much of it, it 
becomes a poison, as Paul Best has shown. There 
is a marked tendency in France to develop out-door 
games and, exercise. But, in order to avoid the evil 
effects of excessive exercise, or of exercise taken 

under unfavorable circumstances, some care must be 
taken. M. Lagrange, himself a great admirer of 
athletics, and a man who has given a good deal of 
time to the practical study of the subject, brought 
out some time ago a book on the physiology of 
exercise, of which we have said a word. Now he 
publishes a volume on the Hygiene of Exercise, for 
children and young people. It is a sound book, 
and contains many good hints as to how, and how 
much, exercise must be used in order to yield good 
and beneficial results, and to avoid the many dan- 
gerous effects which follow when athletics are indis- 
criminately performed. In a second volume the 
author is to deal with the also very important sub- 
ject of exercise for adult persons. 

To electricians and geologists I must give the 
names of the two following works: Hospitaller: 
Traite Elementaire de I' Energie Electrique (2 vols, in 
8vo.), a very good volume of matters but little 
known; and,Dupont: Lettres sur le Congo, \n -which 
the geology of a part of Africa is well studied. 

• H. 

Parks, Feb. 24, 1S90. 

[Specially Observed for Popular Science Xews.] 



Average Thermometer 

At 7 A. M. . . 
At 3 r. M. . . 
At 9 p. M. . . 
Whole Month . 
Second Average 

Last 20 Februarys . . 

Winter of 1889.90 . 
Last 20 Winters 





38.1 ■• 









1 in 1S85. 




I 21.85° 

/ .n 1S75. 

Highest. I Range. 



32 -Cj" I 
in 1S90. \ 


.37-2.1° ) 
in iSyo. \ 





Another remarkable month and winter. The 
lowest point reached by the mercury the last month 
was 2° above zero, on the 22d, and this, indeed, is 
the lowest point during the entire winter. The 
next lowest were 7" and 9°. This is the only winter 
in twenty years when zero has not been reached at 
the hours of observation. The highest point during 
the month was ^S". on the Sth. The 21st was the 
coldest day, with a mean of lo'^ and the 5th was the 
warmest day, with a mean of 47.33". The entire 
month was the warmest February during the last 
twenty years, being 6.67° above the average, and 
nearly 15" above that of 18S5. 

The entire winter has been equally remarkable 
for high temperature. December and February of 
the present winter were the warmest on my record, 
and January had but two slight exceptions of higher 
temperature. Hence this result. The cold waves 
have been few, generally very short, and not severe, 
ending in a warm spell, spoiling our entire ice 
harvest in this 'region. 


The face of the sky, in 84 observations, gave 33 
fair, 13 cloudy, 28 overcast, 5 rainy, and 5 snowy, — 
a percentage of 39 3 fair. The average lair for the 
last twenty Februarys has been 56.9, with extremes 
of 30 per cent, in 1SS4 (the only instance less fair 
than the present February), and 73.4 in 1S77. Sev- 
eral days were noted "fine,"' and others "spring- 
like," and two or three mornings foggy — that on the 
25th continuing all day, rendering it quite dark. 

The percentage of fair weather the last winter 
was 46 6, while the average for the last twenty 
winters has been 54, with extremes of 38.1 in 1S84, 
and 67 in 1S78. Only two winters have been more 
cloudy than the present in twenty years. 



[April, 1890. 


The amount of precipitation the last month, in- 
cluding 5 inches of melted snow, was 396 inches, 
usually in small quantities, well distributed. The 
largest amount at one time was 1.60 inch, on the 
8th. Snow fell in small quantities on five days, but 
principally on the 20th, when about 4 inches fell, 
furnishing four days of imperfect sleighing. On the 
26th the snow was entirely gone. Thunder was 
heard in the evening of the iSth. 

The amount of precipitation the present winter, 
including \i^h inches of melted snow, was only 9.97 
inches, while the average for the last twenty-two 
winters has been 13.50, with extremes of 6.83 in 
1877, and 22.52 in 18S6. Only four winters in 
twenty-two years have had less precipitation than 
the present. We had only two days imperfect 
sleighing in December and four in February — six in 
all. The snows disappeared suddenly, under the 
unusual high temperature, and ice was unmade 
almost as fast as it was made. 


The average pressure the past month was 30 042 
inches, with extremes of 29.42 on the 5th, and 30.54 
on the 2d, — a range of 1.12 inch. The average for 
the last seventeen Februarys was 29.974, with ex- 
tremes of 29.834 in 18S5, and 30.130 in 1876. The 
sum of the daily variations was 8. 98 inches, giving 
an average daily movement of .321 inch. This 
average in seventeen Februarys has been .292, with 
extremes of .162 and .418. On si.x days the move- 
ments ranged from .51 to .86 — a verj' active, as well 
as high barometer. 

The average pressure the present winter was 
30.074, while the average for the past seventeen 
winters has been only 29.960 inches. 


The average direction of the wind the past month 
was W. 35° 19' N., while the average of the last 
twenty-one Februarys has been W. 27^^ 40' N., with 
extremes of W. 60° 57' N. in 1870, and W. 5° 5' S. 
in 1875, — a range of 66° 2', or nearly six points of 
the compass. 

The average direction of the wind the past winter 
was W. 29'-' 52' N. , and the last twenty-one winters 
W. 21° 20' N. Hence the winds the past winter 
have been 8'-' 32' more northerly than usual ; yet the 
remarkably warm winter. Other causes besides 
the winds modify the temperature. 




























• <o 




















\ 1 ^ 






.s s 
S 1 z 













The table of comparative meteorology inserted 
above is collected from the Bulletin of the New 

-England Meteorological Society for January, 1890. 
It gives a condensed view of each of the New Eng- 
land States and of all combined, in regard to 
temperature and precipitation, with that of Natick 

The table needs but little explanation. The 
first column under "No." gives the number of 
reports from observers in each State ; that under 
precipitation, the number of stations. The other 
other columns explain themselves, except against 
New England, where the "mean" is obtained from 
the sum of all the reports divided by the number of 

By the Bulletin, the highest monthly mean in 
New England was 37.9°, at Block Island, R. I. ; the 
lowest iC.o'^, at Fairfield, Me. The highest obser- 
vation was 69°, at Olneyville, R. I. ; and the lowest 
— 23°, at Orono, Me., — giving the range for Janu- 
ary, 1890, in New England at 92"^. The extremes at 
Natick were 10° and 64° — a range of 54°. The 
average temperature of January for twenty-five sta- 
tions in New England, having records for more 
than ten years, is 23.7°; that of Natick for twenty 
years is 24.28°. 

The mean precipitation of thirty-four stations in 
New England, having records for more than ten 
years, is 4 01 inches ; at Natick, in twenty-two 
years, 4.83 inches, — showing a large deficiency in 
precipitation throughout New England during Jan- 
uary, 1890. The largest amouut was 4.66 inches, 
at West Milan, N. H. ; and the least 1.26 inches, at 
Shelton, Conn. D. W. 

Natick, March 5, 1890. 

[Specially Computed for Popular Science News.] 

APRIL, 1890. 
Mercury is a morning star at the beginning of 
the month, but is too near the sun to be easily seen. 
It passes superior conjunction and becomes an even- 
ing star on the morning of April 9, and by the end 
of the month is well out toward east elongation, 
which it reaches on May 6. During the last few 
days of April, and for some time in May, it is in 
pretty good position for observation, setting about 
an hour and a half after the sun. It is seven or 
eight degrees north of the sun, and may be seen in 
the twilight soon after sunset, near the horizon, a 
little north of west. Venus is also an evening star, 
and is getting far enough away from the sun to be 
easily seen. Venus and Mercury are very near 
together at the end of the month. Mercury will be 
about three degrees above Venus as they set on 
April 30. Mars rises at about 11 P. M. on April i, 
and at about 9 P. M. on April 30. It is in the con- 
stellation Scorpius, and moves eastward until April 
22, when it begins to retrograde, the whole motion 
being only about three degrees. It is east and 
north of the brightest star of the constellation — the 
first magnitude red star Antares (Alpha Scorpii.) 
The planet is approaching the earth, and on April 
30 its distance is about 55,000,000 miles — a diminu- 
tion of about 20,000,000 miles during the month. 
It will be in opposition with the sun on Mav 27, but 
will not reach the nearest approach to the earth 
until June 5. On the morning of April 9 tKere will 
be a very near approach of Mars to the moon, which 
will be an occultation in some places, but not in the 
eastern part of the United States. Jupiter is in the 
constellation Capricornus, and rises at about i 
A. M. on ApriJ i, and at about 11 P. M. on Ap'ril 30. 
It comes to quadrature with the sun on the morning 
of May I . During April it moves about four degrees 
east and north among the stars. Saturn is in fine 
position for observation, being on the meridian at 
about 9 P. M. at the beginning of the month, and a 

little less than two hours earlier at the end. It is in 
the constellation Leo, and in that part of the con- 
stellation known as the Sickle. It will be interesting 
to watch its motion with reference to the bright star 
Regulus (Alpha Leonis), at the end of the handle of 
the Sickle, during this and the following months. 
At the beginning of April it is about three diameters 
of the moon north of Regulus, and not far from a 
line between it and Eta Leonis, the smallish star at 
the junction of blade and handle. During the 
month it moves west and north a little more than 
one diameter of the moon, and on April 28 turns 
around and starts back by nearly the same route. 
Toward the end of May it will be just about where 
it was at the beginning-of April. Uranus will be 
in opposition with tJie sun on April 14. It will then 
be about three degrees east and one degree north of 
Spica (Alpha \'irginis.) The planet approaches the 
star about one degree during the month. Neptune 
is an evening star, in the constellation Taurus, and 
is very near conjunction with the sun at the end of 
the month, setting less tftan two hours after. 

The Constellations. — The positions given hold 
good for latitudes not many degrees diflerent from 
40° north, and for 10 P. M. on April i, 9 P. M. 
April 15, and 8 P. M. April 30. Leo Minor, a small 
constellation with no very bright stars, is in the 
zenith. Leo is just south of it, the principal group 
(the Sickle) having just passed the meridian. 
Hydra is below Leo. Virgo is in the southeast, 
about halfway from horizon to zenith. Libra is 
just rising below Virgo. Going from the zenith 
toward the east, we see first Coma Berenices, and 
Canes Venatici ; below these, Bootes, then Corona 
Borealis. Hercules has just risen, a little north of 
the east point. Lyra and Cygnus are on the hori- 
zon, just north of Hercules. Draco and Ursa Minor 
are east of the pole star. Ursa Major lies between 
the zenith and pole star, the pointers being very near 
the meridian. Cassiopeia is below and a little west 
of the pole star, and Perseus is west of the latter, at 
about the same altitude. Auriga is a little higher 
and farther west. Taurus is on the northwest hori- 
zon ; above it follow Gemini and Cancer, just west 
of Leo. Orion is setting in the west, and Canis 
Major in the southwest. Canis Minor is above and 
between the last two. M. 

L.\ke Forest, III., March 5, 1890. 


The second volume of the magnificent Century 
Dictionary, including tlie letter t\ is now ready. 
We have already referred to this work at length, 
and can only repeat that it is indispensable to every 
one desiring a complete knowledge of the English 
language. The Century Co., New York, publishers. 

A lland-Book of Materia Meclica, Pharmacy, and 
Therapeutics, by Samuel O. L. Potter, M. D. 
Published by P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Philadel- 
phia. Price, $4 00. 

This is an exceedingly practical work, and con- 
tains a great deal of valuable original matter, 
selected from Dr. Potter's experience in his exten- 
sive private practice. The use, dosage, and medi- 
cinal eftect of the various medicinal substances are 
very clearly and thoroughly described; and the list 
of diseases, with the remedies appropriate to each, 
amount of dose, etc.. will be found a very useful 
department. It is no mere classification of "diseases 
followed by a catalogue of drugs, but is a complete 
digest of modern therapeutics, and as such will 
prove of the greatest use to its possessor. 

The same firm have also published a New German- 
English Medical Dictionary, by Frederick Tree\es, 
F. R. C. S., and Mr. Hugo Lang; a Manual of the 
Practice of Medicine, by Frederick Taylor, M. D. ; 
and a Text- Book on oLitetrics, by Dr.F. Winckel, 
(Munich), translated by Prof. Edgar F. Smith of 
the University of New York. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] 



EQedicirje arjd PtjariQac.v. 


While medicine is one of the oldest of 
sciences, as is shown by the trepanned skulls 
found among the relics of the pre-historic 
races of Europe, chemistry is one of the 
youngest ; and although the alchemists, in 
their fanciful search after impossibilities, 
stumbled upon many valuable discoveries, 
and recorded observations which afterwards 
proved to be of great impyortance, yet not 
imtil the time of Lavoisier can there be said 
to have been any real system of chemical 
philosophy, and the science of chemistry, as 
now accepted, is almost entirely a growth of 
the prrsent century. 

Coincidentally with the advance of chemi- 
cal knowledge, the science of materia medica 
began to be founded upon a more rational 
basis, and the disgusting and useless mixtures 
with which the doctors of the preceding cen- 
turies had afflicted their doubly unfortunate 
patients, began to give way to the substances, 
both organic and inorganic, prepared by the 
chemists, of which the composition was 
accurately known, and the therapeutic action 
invariable — except so far as limited by indi- 
vidual peculiarities of constitution.^ Like all 
good things, the new remedies were subject 
to many abuses. The powerful action of 
mercurial compounds, still invaluable in 
many cases, led, at first, to a wholesale use 
of them for all manner of diseases ; and the 
injury which they sometimes caused has 
brought about not only a general popular 
horror of all mercurial compounds, but one 
which has included all the inorganic, or 
"mineral" remedies, — a prejudice which is 
fully understood and taken advantage of by 
the quacks, who advertise their ''purely 
vegetable" cure-alls, regardless of the fact 
that some of the most dangerous and deadly 
poisons known belong to the class of organic 

Among the remedies which the physician 
owes to the chemist, are the invaluable 
quinine, morphine, strychnine, cafteiiu, and 
a large number of other alkaloids ; the bro- 
mides, the iodides, chloral hydrate, the 
\arious acids and salts of phosphorous, the 
salts of iron, and, perhaps the most valuable 
of all, the anaesthetics — etl>er, chloroform, 
and nitrous oxide. The modern practice of 
antiseptic surgery would have been impos- 
sible if the chemist had not first produced 
the germ-destroying substances, such as cor- 
rosive sublimate, carbolic acid, permanganate 
of potash, thymol, and others of a list which 
is increasing in length daily. Many — perhaps 
the majority — of these compounds were acci- 
dentally or purposely prepared by investi- 
gators who were interested only in their 
chemical relations, and had no thought what- 

ever of the medicinal value which they after- 
wards proved to possess, and which, in fact, 
it would have been impossible to foresee or 

This fact is well illustrated by the substance 
now extensively used in medicine known as 
antifebrin or acetanilid, (Cc H5 N H C> H3 O). 
This bod\' has been known for a long time, 
and some fifteen years ago we prepared a 
small quantitv of it, as an intermediate pro- 
duct in the synthesis of an organic compound 
of theoretical interest only. This was proba- 
bly the first specimen ever prepared in this 
country, although, of course, it was pre- 
viously well known to chemists ; but it was 
not until many years afterwards that its 
remarkable antipyretic action was discovered, 
and it is now to be found in every drug store. 

As to the more lately discovered remedies 
which have been introduced to the medical 
profession by the chemist, — such as somnal, 
urethan, salol, sulphonal, phenacetine, exal- 
gine, antipyrine, and numerous others,- — it 
may be said that, while they all doubtless 
have more or less value, much observation 
and experiment will be necessary to deter- 
mine their exact 'therapeutical action. This 
can in no way be predicted from their chemi- 
cal composition, and the use of any new 
remedy must be more or less empirical, until 
its medicinal qualities are fully understood. 
Take calomel and corrosive sublimate, for 
instance : chemically they are almost identi- 
cal, but while one is extensively used as a 
medicine, the other is one of the most pow- 
erful poisons known ; and there are numerous 
organic compounds, which, although they- 
give identical results when analyzed, yet in 
their physical and medicinal properties are 
as widely different as it is possible for any 
two substances to be. 

The increasing attention paid to the study 
of chemistry in medical schools is, therefore, 
a tendency in the right direction. Although, 
as has been said above, the therapeutic action 
of a substance is not dependent upon its 
chemical composition, yet it is of the utmost 
importance that the physician should be, to 
some extent, a chemist. If there were no 
other reason, it would be necessary to prevent 
the prescribing of incompatible substances in 
the same mixture. The prescription-files of 
most druggists, if they could be examined, 
would show ludicrous instances of the lack 
of chemical knowledge by physicians of high 
starring. But, aside from this, the tendency 
is to discard the old-fashioned bulky drugs, 
and use instead their active principles which 
the chemist separates out and condenses in 
compact form ; he is also constantly mak- 
ing and ottering to the profession new 
combinations of the four elements which 
make up the endless list of organic com- 
pounds. Although there may be an occa- 
sional relapse to mediaeval agents, — as in the 

recent pyrotechnic announcement of Dr. 
Brown-Sequard, — yet it is the chemist who 
is to discover our future remedies, and the 
physician with the most thorough knowledge 
of chemistry who is to apply them intelli- 
gently and use them successfully. 

[Original in Popular Science Neu!$.] 

A. D. 1747. 


Primitive Physick ; or an Easy and Natural Method of 
curing Most Diseases. By John Wesley. Homo sum: 
hiimaui nihil a me alienum pntel. Fifteenth Kdition. 
London. Printed by Robert llawes at (No. 7) the corner 
of Windsor St., Bishopsgate — without. 1747. 

Such is the title page of a curious volume that 
lies open before me — a volume that was an oracle in 
the family of my grandfather's father. Medical 
science has marched ahead since then; surgery has 
outstripped the record of its grandfather and even 
of its father. And yet, when we are honest with 
ourselves in occasional moments, how helpless we 
still find ourselves in the event of sickness and 
death, and how many times even the best medical 
men can only grope after the truth. I am going to 
let this article do its own talking. The resurrected 
spirit of this healer of the eighteenth century will 
give you a few readings from his own published 


He struts about the platform, eyes the spectacled 
medicos that fill the auditorium, polishes off his 
ungainly glasses with a lurid bandanna handker- 
chief at least a yard square, takes a pinch of snuff 
and a sip of sweetened water, and begins to speak 
as follows : 

Dearly Beloved Brethren : When man came first 
out of the hands of the great Creator, clothed in 
body as well as in soul with immortality and incor- 
ruption, there was no place for physick, or the art 
of healing. As he knew no sin, .so he knew no 
pain or sickness or bodily disorder. The habitation 
wherein the angelick mind — the clivinrB parlicula 
aurce — abode, although originally formed out of the 
dust of the earth, was liable to no decay. It had no 
seeds of corruption or dissolution within itself. 
And there was nothing without to injure it : 
heaven and earth and all the hosts of them were 
mild, benign, and friendly to human nature. The 
entire creation was at peace with man, so long as 
man was at peace with his Creator. So that well 
might the morning stars sing together, and all the 
sons of God shout for joy. 

But since man rebelled against the Sovereign of 
heaven and earth, how entirely the scene changed. 
The incorruptible frame has put on corruption; the 
immortal has put on mortality. The seeds of weak- 
ness and pain, sickness and death, are now lodged 
in our inmost substance, whence a thousand dis- 
orders continually spring, even without the aid of 
external violence. And how is the number of these 
increased,by everything around us.' The heavens, 
the earth, and all thing,s contained therein, conspire 
to punish the rebels against their Creator. The 
sun and moon shed unwholesome influences from 
above; the earth exhales poisonous damps from 
beneath; the beasts of the field, the birds of the 
air, the fishes of the sea, are in a state of hostility; 
the air itself, that surrounds .us on every side, is 
replete with the shafts of death ; yea, the food we 
eat, daily saps the foundation of the life which can- 
not be sustained without it. So has the Lord of all 
secured the execution of his decree: "Dust thou 
art, and unto dust thou shalt return." 



[April, 1S90. 

'Tis probable phvsick, as well as religion, was in 
the first ages chiefly traditional, every father deliver- 
ing down to his sons what he himself" in like man- 
ner received concerning the manner of healing, both 
outward hnrts, with the diseases incident to each 
climate, and the medicines which were of the great- 
est efficacy for the cure of each disorder. 'Tis 
certain this is the method wherein the art of healing 
is preserved among the Americans to this day. 
Their diseases are exceedingly few; nor do they 
often occur, by reason of their continual exercise 
and (till of late, universal) temperance. But if 
any are sick, or bit by a serpent, or torn by a wild 
beast, the fathers immediately tell their children 
what to apply. And 'tis rare that the patient suf- 
fers long, those medicines being quick, as well as, 
generally, infallible. 

Thus far physick was wholly founded on experi- 
ment. The European! as well as the American, 
said to his neighbor: "Are you sick? Drink the 
juice of this herb, and your sickness will be at an 
end." "Are you in a burning heat.' Leap into 
that river, and then sweat till you are well." " Has 
the snake bitten you.' Chew and apply that root, 
and the poison will not hurt you." Thus antient 
men, having a little experience, joined with com- 
mon sense and common humanity, cured both 
themselves and their neighbors of most of the dis- 
tempers, to which every nation was subject. 

But, in process of time, men of a philosophical 
turn were not satisfied with this. They began to 
enquire how they might account for these things. 
How such medicines wrought such effects. They 
examined the human body in all its parts. They 
explored the several kinds of animal and mineral as 
well as vegetable substances. And hence the whole 
order of physick which was obtained to that time, 
came generally to be inverted. As theories in- 
creased, simple medicines were more and more 
disregarded and disused, till, in the course of years, 
the greater part of them were forgotten — at least in 
the politer nations. In the rooin of these, abund- 
ance of new ones were introduced by reasoning, 
speculative men ; and those more and more difficult 
to be applied, as being more remote from common 
observation. Hence, rules for the application of 
these, and medical books were immediately multi- 
plied; till, at length, physick became an abstruse 
science, quite out of the reach of ordinary men. 

Physicians now began to be had in admiration, as 
persons who were something more than human. 
And profit attended their employ as well as honour; 
so that they had now two weighty reasons for keep- 
ing the bulk of mankind at a distance, that they 
might not pry into the mysteries of the profession. 
To this end, they increased those difficulties by 
design, which began in a manner by accident. 
Thev filled their writings with abundance of tech- 
nical terms, utterly unintelligible to plain me. 

As to the manner of using the medicines herein 
set down, I should advise, as soon as you know 
your distemper, (which is very eaey, unless in a 
complication of disorders, and then you would do 
well to apply to a physician that fears God) : First, 
use the first of the remedies for that disease which 
occurs in the ensuing collection, (unless some other 
of them be easier to be had, and then it may do just 
as well.) Secondly, after a competent time, if it 
takes no effect, use the second, the third, and so on. 
(I have purposely set down, in most cases, several 
remedies for each disorder; not only becauee all are 
not equally easy to be procured at all times and in 
all places, but likewise because the medicine which 
cures one man will not always cure another of the 
same distemper, — nor will it cure the same man at 
all times.) Thirdly, observe all the time the great- 
est exactness in your regimen, or manner of living. 

Abstain from all mixt or high season'd food. Use 
plain diet, easy of digestion, and this as sparingly 
as you can, consistent with ease and strength. 
Drink only water, if it agrees with your stomach ; 
if not, good, clear, small beer. Use as much exer- 
cise daily in the open air as you can without weari- 
ness. Sup at six or seven on the lightest food; go 
to bed early, and rise betimes. Above all, add to 
the rest (for it is not labor lost) that old, unfashion- 
able medicine. Prayer. And have faith in God, 
who " killeth and maketh alive, who bringeth down 
to the grave and.bringeth up." 


Tender people should have those who lie with 
them, or are much about them, sound, sweet, and 

Water is the wholesomest of all drinks ; quickens 
the appetite and strengthens the digestion most. 

Strong, and more especially spirituous liquors, 
are a certain though slow poison. 

Experience shows, there is very seldom any dan- 
ger in leaving them off all at once. 

Strong liquors do not prevent the mischiefs of a 
surfeit, nor carry it oft' so safely as water. 

Malt liquors (except clear, small beer, of a due 
age) are exceeding hurtful to tender persons. 

Coffee and tea are extremsly hurtful to persons 
who have tender nerves. 

A due degree of e.xercise is indispensably neces- 
sary to health and long life. 

We may strengthen any weak part of the body by 
constant exercise. Thus the lungs may be strength- 
ened by loud speaking, or walking up an easy ascent ; 
the digestion and the nerves, by riding; the arms 
and hams, by strongly rubbing them daily. 

The studious ought to have stated times lor exer- 
cise, at least two or three hours a day; the one half 
of this before dinner, the other half before going to 

They should frequently shave, and -frequently 
wash their feet. 

Those who read or write much, should learn to 
do it standing; otherwise it will impair their health. 

The fewer clothes anyone uses, by day or night, 
the hardier will he be. 

Obstructed perspiration (vulgarly called catching 
cold) is one great source of diseases. Whenever 
there appears the least sign of this, let it be removed 
by gentle sweats. 

The passions have a greater influence on health 
than most people are aware of. 

All violent and sudden passions dispose to or 
actually throw people into acute diseases. 

The slow and lasting passions, such as grief and 
hopeless love, bring on chronical diseases. 

Till the passion which caused the disease is 
calm'd, medicine is applied in vain. 

The love of God, as it is the sovereign remedy of 
all miseries, so in particular it effectually prevents 
all the bodily disorders the passions introduce, by 
keeping the passions themselves within bounds. 
And by the unspeakable joy and perfect calm, 
serenity, and tranquillity it gives the mind, it be- 
comes the most powerful of all the means of health 
and long life. « 


For an Ague. — Go into the cold Bath just before 
the Cold Fit. Or, apply sliced Roots of Water 
Lilies ; — tried. Or, eat a Lemon, Rind and all. 

A Tertian Ague. (An Ague which returns every 
other Day.) — Apply to each Wrist a Plaister of 
Treacle and soot. Or, Bathe twice or thrice a 
Week at least, till you have bathed nine or ten 

The Apoplexy. — To prevent, use the Cold Bath, 

and drink only Water. Or, put a Handful of 
Salt into a Pint of cold Water, and, if possi- 
ble, pour it down the Throat of the Patient. He 
will immediately come to himself. So will one who 
seems dead by a Fall. Or, fill the Mouth with Salt. 

The Asthma. — Take a Pint of cold Water every 
Night as you lie down in Bed. Or, drink Sea 
Water every Morning. Or, dry and powder a Toad. 
Make it into small Pills, and take one every Hour 
till the Convulsions cease. 

Bleeding at the Nose. — Hold a red-hot Poker 
under the Nose. Or, in a violent Case, go into a 
Pond or River; — tried. 

Blisters on the Feet. — When occasioned by walk- 
ing, are cured by drawing a Needle full of Worsted 
thro' them. Clip it ofl" at both ends, and leave it 
till the Skin peels oft". 

Children. — To prevent the Rickets, Tenderness, 
and Weakness, dip them in cold Water every Morn- 
ing, till they are eight or nine Months old; after- 
wards their Hands and Feet. Or, let them go 
bare-footed and bare-headed, till they are three or 
four years old at least. 

Colic. — Drink a Pint of cold Water; — tried. Or, 
a Qiiart of warm Water ; —tried. 

A Consumption. — Cold Bathing has cured many 
deep Consumptions; — tried. Or, every Morning 
cut up a little Turf or fresh Earth, and lying down, 
breathe into the Hole lor a Qi^iarter of an Hour. 
Or, in the last Stage, take the Milk of an healthy 
woman daily; — tried by my Father. So long as the 
tickling Cough continues, chew well and swallow a 
Mouthful or two of a Biscuit or Crust of Bread. ]f 
you cannot swallow it, spit it out. This will always 
shorten the Fit, and would often prevent a Con- 
sumption. ' 

An Inveterate Cough. — Wash the Head in cold 
Water every Morning. Or, use the cold Bath; it 
seldom fails. 

The Cramp. — Tie your Garter smooth and tight 
under your Knee at going to Bed ; I never knew 
this to fail. Or, be electrified thro' the Part which 
uses to be affected. This sometimes prevents it for 
a Month; sometimes a Twelvemonth. Or, stretch 
out the. Limb immediately. Or, hold a Roll of 
Brimstone in your Hand. 

Deafness. — Be electrified through the Ear. Or, 
use the cold Bath. Or, put a little Salt into the 
Ear. Or, saltpetre. 

Drowned. — Rub the Trunk of the Body all over 
with Salt. It frequently recovers them that seem 

A Blood-shot Eye. — Blow in white Sugar-candy, 
finely powdered. 

Dull Sight. — Drop in two or three Drops of Juice 
of rotten Apples often. 

A Fever. — Drink a Pint and half of cold Water, 
lying down in Bed; I never knew it to do Hurt. 
Or, smear the Wrists, five or six Inches long, with 
warm Treacle, and cover it with brown Paper. Or, 
apply Treacle Plaisters to tlie Soles of the Feet, 
changing them ever^' twelve Hours. Or, in a high - 
Fever attended with a Delirium, plunge into cold 
Water, which is a«sure Remedy in the beginning of 
any Fever. Or, apply warm Lamb's Lungs to the 
top of the Head. 

To destroy Fleas or Bugs. — Cover tlie Floor with 
the Leaves of the Alder, gathered while the Dew 
hangs upon them. Adhering to they are 
killed th_ereby. 

Gout in the Foot or Hand. — Apply a raw, lean 
Beef-stake. Change it once in twelve Hours till 
cured. The very Matter of the Gout is surely de- 
stroyed by a steady use of Mynsicht's Elixir of 

The Head-ach. — Rub the Head for a Q^iarter of 
an Hour; — tried. Or, be electrified; — tried. Or, 

Vol. XXIV. No. 4.] 



apply to each Temple the thin yellow Rind of a 
Lemon, newly pared ofl". Or, keep your Feet in 
warm Water a Qiiarter of an Hour before you go to 
Bed, foi* two or three Weeks; — tried. Or, wear 
tender Hemlock-leaves under the Feet, changing 
them daily. Or, order a Tea-kettle of cold Water 
to be poured on your Head every Morning in a 
slender Stream. 

TJie Heart-burning. — Drink a Pint of cold Water. 
Or, cliew five or six Pepper-corns a little; then 
swallow them. Or, chew P'ennel or Parsley, and 
swallow your Spittle. Or, a Teaspoonful of Crab's 
Eyes, ground to an impalpable Powder. 

Hypochondriac and Hysteric Disorders. — Use 
cold Bathing. Or, take an Ounce of Qiiick-silver 
every Morning. 

Iliac Passion. — Hold a live Puppy constantly on 
the Belly. Or, Ounce by Ounce, a Pound or a 
Pound and a half of Qj^iick-silver. 

The Itch. — Steep a shirt an Hour in a Qiiart of 
Water, mix'd with half an Ounce of powder"d 
Brimstone. Dry it slowly and wear it five or six 

Old Age. — Take Tar-water Morning and Even- 
ing:— tried. Or, be Electrified daily. 

The Plague.— Cold Water alone, drank daily, has 
cured it. Or, a Draught of Brine as soon as seized ; 
sweat in Bed; take no other Drink for some Hours. 

Pleurisy— Take half a Dram of Soot. Or, of 
Decoction of Nettles. Or, a Glass of Tar-water. 

To restore the Strength after a Rheumatism — 
^[ake a strong Broth of Cow-heels and wash the 
I'arts with it warm twice a Day. 

Ring-worms. — Apply rotten Apples. Or, apply 
Garlic pounded. Or, ru'->.^liem with Oil of Paper. 

Scurvy. — Live on Tun.ips for a Month. Or, 
lake Tarwater Morning and Evening for three 
Months. Or, a Decoction of great Water-dock. 
Or, as a common Drink, Water made very 
sweet with Treacle. 

A Broken Shin. — Bind a dry Oak-leaf upon it. 

To cure the Tooth-ach. — Be Electrified through 
the Teeth. Wash the Mouth withcold Water every 
Morning, and rinse them after every Meal. Rub 
the Teeth often with Tobacco-ashes. Or, apply to 
the aching Tooth an artificial Magnet. Or, rub the 
Cheek a Qiiarter of an Hour. Or, put a Clove of 
Garlic into the Ear. Or, keep the Feet in warm 
Water, and rub them well with Bran, just before 
Bed-time; — tried. Note: There is no such thing 
as Worms in the Teeth. Children's using Coral is 
always useless, often hurtful. The constant use of 
Tooth-picks is a bad Practice. Constant Smoaking 
of Tobacco destroys many good Sets of Teeth. 

To prevent the Bite of a Viper.— Rub the Hands 
with the Juice of Radishes. 

Worms. — Take Filings of Tin and red Ccnl. of 
each an equal C^iantity. Pound them togetli,.r in a 
very fine Powder, of which one Dram made into a 
Bolus with Conserve of the Tops of Sea-weed, it 
to be taken twice a Day. 


amidst the plaudits of an appreciative nineteenth 
century audience, who regard the speaker as a sort 
of Mark Twain or a Bill Nye. 

And yet, incredulous reader, John Wesley was a 
man much reverenced in 1747 and thereabouts for 
the cleverness of compiling a book of simple cures 
, for common sicknesses. It is but just in me to tell 
you that many of the remedies suggested were trulv 
beneficial,- simple herbs entering largely into their 
composition, and I have only quoted those cures 
that seemed utterly absurd according to my 1SS9 

So we will close the well-thumbed volume once 
more, and, laying it away with some other relics, 

we will lift up our hearts in deveut gratitude that we 
have progressed a little in the treatment of diseases. 
It may be all an illusion, but it is a happy one, and 
we will believe in it. 

] Specially Compiled for Popular Science Xeios.] 



Oper.\tion Under Hypnotism. — Dr. Edward L. 
Wood, resident surgeon, St. Barnabas Hospital, 
Minneapolis, Minn., relates {Medical liecord) a very 
interesting case of the successful performance of a 
severe, protracted, and painful operation, in which 
hypnotism was the sole means used to effect anaes- 
thesia. The operator was Dr. Hugo Toll, of Min 
neapolis. The patient, a young Scandinavian, aged 
seventeen, was suffering from osteo-myelitis of the 
upper third of the humerus. There were three 
fistular openings : one into the axilla, one above th^ 
insertion of the deltoid, and a third above and back 
of the second. The adjacent soft parts were consid 
erably swollen and quite painful, and motion at the 
shoulder and elbow joints was considerably im 
paired. In order to bring the patient under better 
hypnotic control, he was hypnotized six times 
during the three days prior to the operation. On 
the morning of the operation, he was hvpnotized in 
bed and led to the operating table. The fistuht 
were first explored, scraped out, and washed out; 
then the bone was laid bare by an incision four 
inches long, and an opening three inches in length 
by a quarter of an inch in width was made, with a 
chisel, to the medullary canal. The bone-chiseling 
was rendered the more difficult by the presence of 
osteo-sclerosis. Into the two fistula' which did not 
connect with the incision, drainage-tubes were 
inserted, and the recent wound was packed with 
iodoform gauze. The operation, which, from the 
first, was performed under thorough antiseptic pre- 
cautions, was greatly facilitated by the patient hiin- 
self, who, although in a thoroughly cataleptic con- 
dition, was nevertheless able to turn from side to 
side, sit up, or otherwise to shift his position, in 
accordance with the directions given him by the 
operator. At 9 50 A. .M. he was led back to his bed, 
and told that at iz o'clock he might have something 
to eat. The attendants were cautioned not to di.s- 
turb him meanwhile. He was perfectly quiet till 
the time mentioned, but, on the arrival of that hour 
— sharp, he sat up in bed, and, stretching his well 
arm, said: "Dr. Toll said I could have something 
to eat at 12 o'clock." 

"Amputation above the elbow," says the writer, 
(a witness and assistant), "would certainly not 
have been more painful than this operation ; yet the 
hypnotic condition was preserved through it all, 
with a loss to the operator of not more than a 
minute and a half, all told. I have seen several 
minor .operations done with the patient in a cata- 
leptic condition, but, to me, this case was a revela- 
tion, as I think it will be to many of my fellow 
practitioners, throwing, as it does, a flood of light 
upon what it is possible to do with a favorable 

The Hour at Which Death is Most Apt to 
Occur. — Dr. John Francis Burns, senior assistant. 
Charity Hospital House Staff, New York City, in 
an interesting article on this subject, (A'ew York 
Medical Journal), states that the opinion prevalent 
among physicians, as also among laymen, that 
death occurs oftener during the small hours of the 
morning than at other periods of the twenty-four 
hours, — a doctrine endorsed by medical books and 
medical teachers, — is not borne out by the records 

either of the Charity Hospital or of the New York 
Board of Health. For the past ten years, of the 
total number of deaths from all causes in the large 
hospital referred to, — one of the largest on this 
continent, — there have been sixty-six more deaths 
during the period from 2 to 6 P. M. than during the 
corresponding hours of the early morning; further- 
more, there have been twenty-seven more during 
the day (6 A. M. to 6 P. M.) than during the night. 
Such, in brief, is the showing from more than four 
thousand hospital cases, despite the fact that in a 
hospital there are other reasons than alleged low- 
vitality which, seemingly, would tend to increase 
the liability to death at night,— as, for instance, the 
vitiation of the atmosphere of the wards during the 
night hours, when all the patients are, of necessity, 
in their respective wards, and when proper ventila- 
tion is most apt to be neglected. Of the deaths 
from acute contagious diseases, for two years, 
reported to the New York Board of Health, — 
numbering 10,609, — O"^ hundred and sixty-nine 
more occurred during the day than at night, and the 
hour at which the most deaths were reported to 
have taken place .was 1 1 A. M. From the fifteen 
thousand cases tabulated by Dr. Burns, taken both 
from hospital and private practice,— the tables 
showing the deaths for each hour of the twenty- 
four,— it would appear that death occurs without 
any special predilection for any particular hour. 
The conclusions drawn by Dr. Burns are : i. That 
the belitf that more deaths take place during the 
early morning hours is erroneous. 2. If stimulants 
are to be pushed at those hours, the practice must 
be justified on some other ground than the preva- 
lent but unwarranted opinion. 3. That human 
vitality in disease is not regulated by the same 
influences or subject to the same laws that obtain in 
health, the normal relation observable in health 
between the mental and physical states being 

Dr. J. L. Napier, of Blenheim, S. C, reports 
( Transaclions of the South Carolina Medical Associa- 
tion for ISSO) several cases of epilepsy and other 
convulsive disorders, which were treated by him 
with marked benefit by the use of Solanum Caro- 
li'iense, or "horse-nettle." During the summer of 
1SS7 he had read of this agent, and had heard of its 
use among the negroes for fits and epilepsy. Deter- 
mining to test its efficacy, he employed it in the 
case of a woman who had had epilepsy most of her 
life, and who, during her menstrual periods, was 
generally in an epileptic condition. The various 
remedies for epilepsy were first tried, without relief. 
Horse-nettle, steeped in whiskey, was then given 
her — a tablespoonful three times a day. This treat- 
ment was continued for months. Three days after 
the use of the remedy was begun, she was threat- 
ened with a seizure, but did not have it, nor has she 
since had a single convulsion. He had also used it 
in four other cases with marked benefit. In two 
cases there had been no return of the convulsions. 
Another case was that of a dwarfed, deformed child, 
a victim to epilepsy all its life. The bad effects of 
the disease had been heightened by a course of 
typhoid fever, from which the child had never 
entirely recovered. Subsequent to the fever, the 
epileptic attacks were more severe and recurred 
oftener — " repeatedly during the twenty-four hours." 
The bromides had been used, but they had had no 
effect at all. This most unpromising case was put 
upon the tincture of horse-nettle, which entirely 
stopped the convulsions. In the case of a pregnant 
woman with convulsions due to albuminuria, he 
had used the remedy with marked benefit, as also in 
the case of a woman suft'ering from hysterical 
seizures during her catamenia. 



[April, 1S90. 

Dr. K. Pashkoff strongly recommends (Moscow 
Therapeutic Weeklij) the dressing of recent wounds 
with a thick layer of ashes, prepared ex tempore by 
the burning of cotton or linen stuff. The ashes 
form, with the blood, a protecting scurf, beneath 
which the wound heals very rapidly. Lesions pre- 
senting a dirty appearance should be thoroughly 
cleansed with a boracic lotion before the ashes are 
applied. Of twenty-eight cases of cuts, stabs, 
crushes, etc., treated thus by Dr. Pashkoff, twenty- 
six healed promptly without any trace of suppura- 
tion. This simple, cheap, and convenient method, 
Dr. Pashkoff states, has been practised from time 
immemorial by the Russian peasantry. 

Dr. Laurent, of Rouen, {Le Progres Medical), 
considers boiled milk less healthy for young infants 
than milk which has not been boiled. Although 
boiling destroys microbes, it also destroys constitu- 
ents of the milk which act as ferments and render it 
more digestible, especially in the case of young 
babes. Hence, stomach and intestinal troubles 
follow the use of boiled milk in such cases. Dr. 
Laurent considers it preferable \fi use milk which 
has not been boiled, to ascertain that it is of good 
quality,' and to watch the state of health of the cows. 
Thus, in his opinion, may a great deal of infantile 
tuberculosis be prevented. 

A Novelty in Skin-grafting. — At a recent 
meeting of the Edinburg Medico-Chirurgical Society, 
Mr. A. Miles showed an interesting and successful 
case of skin-grafting, in a ten-year-old boy who had 
been afflicted with an extensive ulcer of the leg, the 
result of a burn. The special interest in the case 
arises from the fact that the skin used was taken 
from a young greyhound. The grafts were made in 
strips six inches long, and an inch broad. In six 
weeks the entire. ulcer was closed over, and, at the 
time the lad was brought before the society, — three 
months subsequent to operation, — he had a healthy, 
useful limb. 

LOSIS. — This eminent authority, in the course of 
some remarks on this disputed question, {La 
Tribune Medicate), said that tuberculosis was en- 
tirely unknown in Tierra del Fuego previous to 
English immigration thither. A missionary's wife, 
who had pulmonary tuberculosis, opened a school 
for young natives with a view to expediting their 
advance in civilization and their conversion to 
Christianity. The founding of this school by this 
tuberculous teacher was followed by an epidemic of 
tuberculosis, in the course of which the population 
was decimated. 

M. H. Secret AN recommends {Revue Medicate 
de ta Suisse Hbmande) that in cases of stenosis of 
the oesophagus, in which it is proposed to employ 
dilation by bougies, the patient be directed to drink 
a quantity of oil just before the operation is begun. 
The passage of the bougie is facilitated by this 
mode of procedure in a much greater degree than 
by the oiling of the instrument. Moreover, the 
operation is rendered not merely much easier, but 
far less painful. [It is inferred that the drinking of 
the oil is not intended to do away with tlie oiling of 
the instrument as well.] 

According to the Medicat Times, nothing so 
quickly restores tone to exhausted nerves, and 
strength to a weary body as a bath containing an 
ounce of aqua ammonia to each pailful of water. 
It makes the flesh firm and smooth as marble, and 
renders the body pure and free from all odors. 

It is said that consumption and other lung 
troubles will be checked by a residence on the I 
Channel Islands, the only complaint not benefitted 
by the climate being rheumatism. — Cincinnati 

It is a fallacy to suppose that the cravings of a 
patient are mere whims, which should be denied. 
The stomach often needs, craves, and digests arti- 
cles not found in any dietary. 

According to Dr. F. A. Evans, of Tell City, Ind., 
fifteen minims of the fluid extract of saw palmetto 
will abort an attack of migraine. 

Prof. Bartholow calls attention to the fact that 
valerianic acid does not represent the active prin- 
ciple of valerian ; therefore the valerianates cannot 
be expected to produce the action of valerian. 

Another practical point to which Prof Bartholow 
directs attention is that the irritability and crying of 
young childreix is due many times, not to hunger, 
but simply to intestinal flatus. Instead of using 
opiates, or soothing syrups, which . are generally 
opium in disguise, the professor advises the follow- 

R. Misturic asafcetidiE, 51- 

Sodii bromid, Grs. iii — V. M. 

This is a single dose for a child from one to four 
months old. 

Andrew Twaddles, who died on Christmas day, 
near Moorestown, Ohio, was the last member of a 
family of nine children, all of whom were born 




When you have a cold you do not know how to 
cure it. All your friends know how, and they tell 
you; but that does not affect the cold. 

Watery Solutions are difticultto mix with vase- 
line, but the Repertoire de Pharmacie says this diffi- 
culty can be overcome by means of a little castor 

Salol in Burns. — Gratzer recommends a mixture 
of from two to three parts of salol with fifty parts of 
starch as an application to inflamed and painful sur- 
faces, bruises, burns, and painful skin diseases of all 
kinds. The relief is said to be great and very 
prompt. The remedy is simply dusted on the sur- 

A Child Born with the Measles. — Dr. Lomer, 
of Hamburg, reports a case where a mother gave 
birth to a child while suffering from measles, it 
being the second day of the eruption. The child 
when born showed the beginning of a measles rash, 
and subsequently developed the disease in its typi- 
cal form. 

Phthisis in High Altitudes in Switzerland. 
— From a report by Dr. L. Schrotter on the distri- 
bution of phthisis in Switzerland, it would seem 
that the inhabitants even of high altitudes are by no 
means so free from phthisis as we are perhaps wont 
to suppose. The tables of deaths for the eleven 
years 1876-1886 show that phthisis is endemic in 
every part of Switzerland, not a single district 
(Bezirk) being free from it. On the whole, the 
deaths from this cause are fewer in the high than in 
the low-lying districts, but it cannot be said that the 
mortalitv from this cause is inversely proportionate 
to the altitude. Wherever there is a large indus- 
trial population, the phthisis mortality is consider- 
able. Industrial populations always suffer much 
more than agricultural populations where the alti- 
tude is the same. 

published monthly by the 

Popular Science News Company, 

5 Somerset Street, Boston. 





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Publisljers' Coliin^R. 

The ink used by the Saxons was superior, it is claimed, to 
that used in the present day, but they needed the Esteubkook 
Pen to write with it. 

The Arena for March was all that was claimed for it, and 
more. It was really a success from the first number, whilt; 
each succeeding number is simply a mar\^el of richness. 

Members of the Agassi? Association can be supplied 
with standard books in any department of natural history at 
very low rates, by writing to Bradlee Whidden, scientific 
publisher, Boston, Mass., who makes a specialty of such 

It is not yet too late to send in your order to David Boyle, 
of Chicago, for an Artificial Ice Machine. Ice will com- 
mand a high price nextsummer, and with oneof these machines 
it can be made at ^ cost not much above that of cutting and 
storing the natural product. 

It is worth the noting t'liat Dixon's Artists' Pencils are 
recommended by leading members of tlie American Institute of 
Mining Engineers, the National Academy of Design, New 
York, the Woman's Institute of Technical Design, New York, 
and thousands of practical people throughout the country. 

The preparations of the New York Health Food Co., 
both for general use, and those especially adapted for different 
diseases,— such as diabetes, for instance, — are well worthy of a 
trial by those interested. Their goods will be found to be pure 
and reliable, and cannot fail to be of benefit in many cases. 

Office of the Maryland Hospital for the Insane, ) 
53 Lexington St., Baltimore, Oct. 27, 1874. \ 

I have the pleasure to say that I have used the tonic called 
" Colden's LiQjJiD Beef Tonic," in this Institution and in 
private practice, for more than a year, and can recommend it as 
one ot the most efficient preparations I have ever met with. 
It combines the virtue of food and tonic in a remarkable vvay, 
and I am satisfied it has been the means of saving life when no 
other medicine could do so. It should be used, of course, only 
under the judgment of a physician. 

R. S. Steuart, President Maryland Hospital. 

The necessity for aerial disinfection is recognized by all san- 
itarians. To carry out such treatment properly and wherever 
required has been a difficult problem ; but the Sherman 
"King" Vaporizer claims to have solved it. This device- 
consists of an iron vessel, provided with a tightly-fitting lid that 
can be held down with a screw, inclosing a porous cuj). A 
small aperture closed by a screw valve is arranged on the side 
of the case about half way up from the base. A volatile disin- 
fecting fluid is used to saturate the porous cup. The liquid 
that has been selected is a coal tar product characterized by the 
presence of phenol and cresol. This is of wide reputation as a 
disinfectant. In short, it supplies a means for delivering con- 
stantly volatile disinfectants, and' at the same time for regulating 
the supply as desired. A single saturation of the porous cup 
lasts for two months. For further particulars the reader is 
referred to the advertisement in this number. 

C|)t popular Science 0t 





Volume XXIV. 

BOSTON, MAY, 1890. 




Familiar Science. — Simple Scientific Experi- 
ments 65 

How Old is tlie World.' 66 

The Dwellings of the Indians of New Mexico 67 

The Dodder 67 

The Pearl 68 

Crocuses 68 

Agricultural Items 68 

Practical Chemistry and the Arts. — Gela- 
tine and Its Uses 69 

The Two Forms of Phosphorus 6g 

A Recent Invention in Photography ... 70 
To Detect Metallic Silver in the Presence of 

Lead 70 

Industrial Memoranda 70 

The Out-Door World. — A Successful A. A. 

Convention 71 

A Prize Worth Trying For 71 

Exchange Notice 72 

A Course in Botany 72 

The Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter . . 72 

A Pair of Colorado Robins 72 

The Spring Prelude 72 

Kditorial. — A Magic Square 5,400 Years Old 74 

Brief Studies in Biology 74 

Meteorology for March, 1S90 75 

Astronomical Phenomena for May, 1890 . . 75 

Coco, C.icao, and Coca 76 

The Chigger 76 

Literary Notes 76 

Medicine and Pharmacy. — The Rational Use 

of Medicine 77 

Nasal Catarrh 77 

An Instrument for Forcing Artificial Respira- 
tion, with an Account ol^ its Successful Use 

in Opium Narcosis 78 

Monthly Summary of Medical Progress . . 79 

Publishers' Column 80 

Ban^iliar Science. 



The illustration shows an amusing and 
instructive experiment in electric fishing, in 

Fig. 1. 

which a pencil serves for a rod, a piece of 
thread for a line, and a bent pin for a hook, 
while the bait is composed of a small lump 

of sealing-wax, which is melted around the 
head of the pin, as shown in the lower 
corner of the engraving. The fish should be 
about an inch long, and cut from thin tissue 
paper. If, before exhibiting the experiment, 
the wax is briskly rubbed with a piece of 
woolen cloth, sufficient electrical excitation 
will be produced to cause the fish to "bite'' 
very readily, and remain attached to the hook 
for quite a while. It is hardly necessary to 
say that the "bait" should always be pre- 
sented to the head of the miniature fish ; 
otherwise, the unusual phenomenon of a 
fish biting with its tail might be illustrated. 


Take a pair of iron tongs and a knife, and, 
holding them as shown in the engraving, ruli 
the knife-blade briskly with the end of the 
tongs, taking care to rub only in one direc- 
tion — towards the point of the knife. When 
the point is reached, the tongs must be lifted 
back towards the handle, and the motion 
repeated. The knife should be occasionally 

depth of focus of the eye is greatly improved. 
Objects can be placed very near to the eye 
and seen plainly, while, if viewed in the 
usual way, they would be very indistinct. 
At the same time, distant objects can be seen 

Fig. 2. 

Jturned over, so that the friction may be 
applied to both sides. In about a minute the 
knife-blade will be found to be magnetic, and 
capable of supporting a needle or steel pen, 
and the magnetism is quite permanent. The 
point of the blade corresponds to the north 
pole of the magnet. The cause of this phe- 
nomenon is not quite clear, and it is worthy 
of further investigation. 

Take a piece of cardboard or opaque 
paper, and pierce a small, clean-cut hole 
through it, about the diameter of the head 
of a large pin. The proper size is easily 
found in one or two trials. On holding the 
opening before the eye and looking through 
it, the first eflect noticed will be that the 

Fig- 3- 

with perfect clearness, and the eftect of the 
minute opening placed before the eye is 
exactly the same as when a .photographer 
puts a small diaphragm, or "stop," in front 
of his objective : greater depth of focus and 
clearness of definition, but a loss of illuniinat- 
.ing power. 

A more curious experiment may be shown 
by holding the card between the eye and a 
strong light — a lamp-shade, for instance, or a 
window-curtain through which the light is 
shining. Then hold a pin between the eye 
and the hole in the card, as shown in Fig. 3. 
The head of the pin will be quite visible, but 
reversed, as sliown in the small illustration. 
The cause of this appearance is explained in 
the accompanying diagrams of the eye (Fig. 
4), where i represents the experiment under 
ordinary conditions : the rays of light from 
the pin are refracted by the lenses of the eye 
so that they cross each other, giving a re- 
versed image on the retina. In fact, we 
really see everything upside down, and it is 
probably only on account of long experience 
that we perceive objects in their natural posi- 
tion, just as the photographer soon forgets 
that the images formed on the ground glass of 
his camera are reversed, but selects his points 



[May, 1S90. 

of view and poses his sitters without thinking 
of the inverted iiosition in which they appear. 
In 3, however, the conditions are changed. 
The iUiiminated opening in the card acts as 
an independent source of light, and casts the 
shadow of the pin directl}' upon the retina ; 
the head of the pin being smaller than the 
pupil of the eye, and being held so close to it 
that the shadow is cast directly upon the 
retina, without the usual reversal of the 
image, which, therefore, appears to our mjnd 
as upside down, whereas it is really in an 
upright position. This automatic correction 
by the eye or brain of the images thrown 
upon the retina is a curious fact, and cannot 
be said to be fully understood, althougli the 
explanation given above is probabl}' the cor- 
rect one. 

Fig. 4. 

This experiment may be varied in several 
ways. By looking, or "squinting," at the 
opening through the half-closed lids, the re- 
versed shadow of the eyelashes will be per- 
ceived, and, by moving the card quickly before 
the eye, so that the opening describes a small 
circle, the field of vision will appear filled 
with a network of dark lines, which are the 
images of the capillary blood-vessels of the 
retina. As this last experiment is not always 
successful, it should not be persisted in, on 
account of the strain it imposes upon the 

The illustrations accompanying this article 
are reproduced from La Nature. 

[Original in Popular Science News.] 


The chronology of the birth of the terrestrial 
globe has always been a profound and difficult 
problem to solve. Some attempts, however, have 
been made to arouse the learned to a more liberal 
spirit of inquiry; the theologians had kept within 
what they considered probable bounds, and were 
not disposed to change the established chronology 
until science could offer them a theory free from 
doubts and speculations. 

Eusebius, in the beginning of the fourth century, 
though far from grasping the whole extent of the 
difficulty, questions the limited knowledge of the 
people in regard to the chronology of the world. 
Almost all of the chronologists prior to the present 

century have considered the epoch of the creation of 
the world with that of man, because they believed 
the one was separated from the other only by an 
interval of six days of twenty-four hours each. 
Some brighter minds, however, avoided confound- 
ing the two great events. St. Gregory of Nazianze 
supposed an indefinite period between the creation 
of matter and the first regular organization of life. 
Gennade of Marseille expressed in his Dogmes Eccle- 
siastiques his belief that after the creation of heaven, 
earth, and water, the heavenly hosts could see the 
manifestations of God's power through the long 
spaces of time which should pass yet before the 
days of creation. 

Although many of the early Christian theologians 
and philosophers were little disposed to raise objec- 
tions against the authority of the Bible, yet they 
felt themselves embarrassed by the short duration 
of time which passed between the deluge of Noah 
and the period assigned to the creation of the world. 
Still they could not accept the fabulous stories ad- 
duced by ancient writers, who mentioned mytholog- 
ical tniditionsof Tridians, Centaurs, etc., before the 
creation of the human race. Still among these tm- 
ditions there is a source of evidence pointing back 
to a period of antiquity too remote to be reconciled 
with the short chronology of Usher and Petrie. Of 
course it is now the almost universal accord of 
Christian theologians that long periods of time 
must have elapsed prior to sacred history. 

In 16S7 the learned Jesuit, P. Pezron, wrote : 
"The antiquity of the times is a good deal greater 
as one believes today." He defended this new 
hypothesis against the attacks of Martianay and 
Leguien with great learning and skill, though at 
that early day it was conflicting with the general 
opinion of the fathers and early Christian philoso- 
phers and scientists, who counted about 4,000 years 
until the coming of the Messiah. This chronology 
was based on the historic records of the Chaldeans, 
Egyptians, and Chinese, though differing from the 
actual Hebrew text. 

Thirty-two years after, another eminent Jesuit, P. 
Tournemine, spoke in the same sense ; "The Jew- 
ish calculation appeared to me always too short and 
little in agreement with certain monuijients of his- 
tory, especially what concerns the epoch which fol- 
lowed the deluge. It takes off to the chronologists 
several necessary centuries for the agreement of the 
profane history with the sacred history." When 
one perceives in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries that the common chronology, placing the 
origin of the world in the year 4004 B. C., was too 
circumscribed for the developing knowledge of the 
times, he beholds it still more in our own days — 
when the natural sciences have cleared away many 
of the doubts, errors, and mysteries of the past, and 
show the sublime beauty, grandeur, and perfection 
of God's works. Tliey carry us beyond the time 
when there was no sun, no moon, no stars to shed 
light on a new-made world. Verily, there is some 
trutli in the words : 

" More things arc wrought . . . 
Than this world dreams of." 

Science is the great light which enables us to see 
countless beauties in the visible creation where 
before we could only see with the dim organs of the 
senses. Still, science has its legitimate sphere, and 
must not enter the domain of theology and dogma- 
tize. Its proofs must support its conclusions; and 
not only must its proofs support its conclusions, but 
in its terminology it must maintain exactness of 
definition. One does not ask himself today, like 
Pezron and Tournemine, whether we should not 
substitute the chronology of the Septuagint to the 
more short one of the Hebrew and Vulgate. The I 

longest is too short to satisfy the just demands of 
the geologist; and yet there is, at times, a reckless- 
ness about some geologists who demand improbable 
periods of time. A thousand years is to the geolo- 
gist the same as a day is to the historian or journal- 
ist. And while we are willing to concede thousands 
— yea, millions — of years to them, we expect at the 
same time that geology will be in harmony with 
other natural sciences. 

There is one point in the issue between natural 
science and revelation, which, if viewed in proper 
light, will harmonize both, for there cannot be any 
conflict between them, if one understands the other. 
First, we are to distinguish between the antiquity 
of the world and the age of man, because these are 
two different things altogether in their relation to 
Scripture — the earth having been created a long 
time before the first man. Thus we see that Scrip- 
ture does not teach us anything about the epoch 
when the universe was formed, nor does it appear 
to contain a theory of creation. It asserts creation, 
providence, and fatherhood, but how matter was 
created, and how after its creation the divine agency 
was corrolated to it in producing new forms of life 
and beauty, Genesis does not declare. 

The views expressed by those advanced minds in 
past centuries have been confirmed by the develop- 
ment of geology. It is no more a question of doubt 
about our planet being very ancient. The more 
accredited systems on the formation of our globe 
require almost countless periods of time, but for the 
present will content ourselves to the scrutiny of 
geology and its most certain conclusions. Half a 
century ago, when the science of geology was in its 
infancy, a cry of alarm was heard throughout 
Europe, that the new science was an attack on 
Genesis. The learned were soon able to reconcile 
these misgivings, and now it is largely a Christian 

Our ideas as to the method in which the strata 
took place in the early formation of the earth may 
differ, but as to the estimate of time we must all 
agree to long periods. Geologists are unanimous, 
with a few unimportant exceptions, in saying that a 
very long time must have elapsed before all the 
strata, many of which are in places several thousand 
feet thick, attained their present form. G. Bischof 
calculates the duration of time for the formation of 
the earth at three hundred and fifty-three millions 
of years, and Pfaff thinks it likely that the solidify- 
ing of the earth's crust took no less than twenty 
millions of years, and not more than four hundred 
millions of years ago. The time which elapsed 
between the beginning of the Carboniferous Age — 
which constitutes only one of the divisions of the 
Paleozoic period — and the recent period, is supposed 
by Arago to have been three hundred and thirteen 
thousand six hundred years. G. Bischof estimates 
it at one million three hundred thousand in one 
passage, and in another says it may have been nine 
million years. 

Owing to the want of space, we can adduce only 
one illustration in this article to show what a " long 
period " means. In order to form the Saarbruck 
coal beds, which are four hundred feet thick, a 
mountain of wood two thousand four hundred feet 
high would have been needed, supposing them to 
have been formed of vegetable matter. Now we 
know that our forests hardly produce a layer of 
wood two inches thick in a hundred years ; there- 
fore, a mass of wood such as we mentioned would 
take at least one million five hundred thousand 
years to grow and a corresponding length of time to 
form into coal. This calculation is based on present 
accretions of vegetable and earth matter in forma- 
tions of the coal measure. It is very probable that 
the primeval flora grew much quicker than it doe» 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 

POPULAE scie:n^oe jn^ews. 


at present, owing to greater heat and moisture dur- 
ing the Carboniferous Age; but the intermediate 
strata in which the coal is imbedded must also be 
taken into account. Herodotus had heard t>om the 
Egyptian priests that the mud beds of the Nile 
which formed below Memphis, hardly increased a 
yard in a hundred years. Recent investigations 
have shown that the increase is only from three to 
four inches. Now as the bed of the coal-slate clay 
is one of the finest mud deposits known, the deposit 
of this stratum seems to require periods of time 
which are amazingly great to calculate. 

In the great coal-pits of Wales, for example, they 
find in a depth of nearly eleven thousand feet, from 
fifty to one hundred distinct beds of coal, the one 
surmounting the other, and intermingled with 
layers of clay several feet thick. Now- every one of 
these beds represents an old forest, which had to 
grow, vegetate, and perish in the place ; or, at 
least, an enormous and various mass of floating 
wood must have been transported from a distance 
by the action of the courses of the water and depos- 
ited at the mouth of rivers or lakes. During these 
successive submersions, the gigantic ichthyosau- 
ruses, as also their marine companions, sported in 
the waters which rolled over the plains and moun- 
tains, and, when they had subsided, the monsters 
were buried in the deep clay of the counties of 
Oxford, Warwick, and Dorset. 

[Original in Popular Science News.] 



The Lehuas, or the Leguas, a tribe of Indians 
dwelling in New Mexico, are so manifestly — from 
the easily-compared authentic descriptions of the 
early Spanish explorers, Coronado (1540-43), Fran- 
cisco Sanchaz Charnuscado (1580), Espejo (1583), 
and Caspar Castano de Sosa (1590) — the same peo- 
ple who now dwell in the pueblo, or communal 
houses, that a visit was planned to the cave and 
cliff dwellings, beyond the Rio Grande, where their 
forefathers dwelt. 

A visit to these singular people who inhabit the 
pueblo, or community houses, was so full of inter- 
est, the strangeness of the idea of the queer four- 
story domiciles entered from the roof of the upper 
story, and showing the idea of the caves in the 
cliffs, modeled on the protective idea of a long 
by-gone age, suggested an unusual amount of use- 
ful knowledge in the evolution of such houses from 
the cave home in the cliffs. So we visited the caves 
in the cliffs. 

Jaded, travel-worn, and utterly weary from cross- 
ing the long stretches of the desert land which lie 
far to the north and east, — sandy, dry, arid, and 
cheerless wastes, stretching on and ever on to an 
ever-receding horizon ; all browns and blacks or 
grays shading into browns, with no green or living 
thing to relieve the general aridness; under a flat, 
opaque sky, in which a copper, fiery orb swung 
slowly, mercilessly above us, pressing downward 
with a pitiless glare that fell with a heavy, aching, 
oppressive weight, ever increasing; the only sign 
of life, now and then a skulking coyote or the cactus 
clump, — we travelled down, down into the valley of 
the Rio Grande. 

Beyond the Rio Grande, the deep, gulch-like 
canons of the Sierra del Valle open out towards 
Santa Clara. The scenery here is very striking; 
the whole mass of mountains seem to have been 
lifted up from 6,000 to S,ooo feet, not in one contin- 
uous chain, as the Las Vegas range, but in inde- 
pendent, broken masses, and these have been so 
(coriated and furrowed by the action of electric 

forces and by the elements as to leave myriads of 
sharp ridges and peaks, separated by declivitous 
almost unfathomable canons, cut to the depth of 
from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. In the friable volcanic 
tufa of which their sides are formed have been dug 
out innumerable caves, with an ingenuity and pains- 
taking care that seems incredible when the tools are 
taken into consideration. These artificial caves are" 
many of them of small size, but the grouping and 
the connecting pathways show that the inhabitants 
lived on the communal plan, and each group repre- 
sents a family or village, undoubtedly. And, as the 
caves are often dug out one above the other, each 
group of caves represents a pueblo itself, and imi- 
tating, as far as practicable, the system of the many- 
storied communal village. Other ruins are found 
on top of the mesas and at the base of the canon, 
which indicate the many-storied pueblo, such as are 
occupied at the pre.sent time by the Pueblos, the 
Lehuas, and by the Buni Indians. 

These ancient cave habitations, which, from the 
nature of the rock and also from the peculiarity of 
the locality, were of easier construction, and also 
more easily defended against the encroachments of 
depredators, than houses, still exhibit many traces 
of their human occupants. The pottery fragments 
show considerable advancement in the use of 
potters' clay, the hideous idols and quaint devices 
in earthenware fragments of broken pottery resem- 
bling the quaint vessels sold by the Indians of the 
present day. Indeed, when on our return, at the 
mouth of the deep canon, where it opens down to 
the river, several of the natives, clothed in the 
striped Navajo blankets and buckskin leggings and 
moccasins, with their heavy black elf-locks tied back 
with a strip of red flannel or some colored cast-oft" 
rag of civilization, and with the sad, immobile 
features of this doomed race, approached and offered 
for sale the usual collection of black obsidian and 
coarse-baked earthenware, and amidst the very com- 
mon lot in the collection was an image intended to 
represent an owl, of a much higher type of earthen- 
ware finish, exactly resembling a piece of broken 
pottery of the same kind of finish and the same bird 
which I held in my hand, and which, from its 
appearance, seemed centuries old. 

The ruins of the pueblo villages, of which there 
are quite a number, were also visited. The ruin of 
Valverde, near Golden, is quite distinct in its char- 
acteristics of the communal plan. A chain of four 
handsome ancient villages, some of them quite 
large, extends from west to east, along the southern 
" Cresto." These are the " Pueblo Largo," " Pueblo 
Colorado," " Pueblo de She," and " Pueblo Blanco." 
Of the Lehuas pueblos, Santa Clara (Capo) San 
lldefouso (O-jo-que) stands on a site about one mile 
from the Bo-ve of 1598. 

The community houses of the Pueblo Indians of 
today are of the same construction and formed upon 
the same plan, as nearly as can be ascertained by 
comparison of the ruins, as those of three centuries 
ago. They are three, four, and sometimes five 
stories high, are built of adobes, have port-holes for 
windows, and are entered from the roof. Ladders 
are placed on the ground, and the ascent of the low 
one-storied room is made; then, crossing this dirt 
sun-baked flat roof, another story is mounted, 
another roof crossed, and so on until the entrance 
is reached on the roof of the upper story. Poles or 
logs are placed upon the walls of the sun-dried 
bricks, these are covered with hay and leaves, and 
on this the mud is plastered, which makes a roof 
that, in a high, dry climate, answers every purpose. 
The houses are very cool in summer, and said to be 
warm in winter. Thither all the necessaries for 
life are stored. The lands on which the maize, 
beans, and 6ther produce is raised are in the valley 

some distance away, and Ihe crops are all irrigated. 
The small cattle are also pastured far away, so that 
life, even at the primitive stage of a Pueblo Indian, 
is one of severe trial. 

New Mexico is rich in archieological treasures ; 
the mesas, hills, the edges of the plains, and the 
cliffs and caves, are covered with the ruins of pre- 
historic cities, towns, and villages, the inhabitants 
of which lived their day and sank into oblivion, 
ages ago. 

There is very little difference in the culture of the 
inhabitants of New Mexico today and of those 
whom Antonio De Espejo found and described three 
centuries ago. In his journal he says: "From 
Couches, situated on the western border of Texas, 
(probably centering around where the river of the 
same name discharges into the Rio Grande), they 
followed their journey for the space of fifteen days 
without meeting any people, all that while passing 
through woods and groves of pine trees (pinon) 
bearing such fruits as those of Castile. At the end 
whereof, having travelled, to their judgment, four 
score leagues, they came unto a small hamlet or 
village (pueblos at or near Paso del Norte or San 
Elizario) of a few people, in whose poor cottages, 
covered with straw, they found many deer-skins, as 
well dressed as those of Flanders, with great store 
of excellent white salt. They gave our men good 
entertainment for the space of two days, while they 
remained there, after which they bare them com- 
pany about twelve leagues, into certain great towns, 
always travelling by the river called the Rio Del 
Norte, above said, until they came into the country 
called by them New Mexico." The account of 
Captain Espejo, which is to be found in excellent 
Spanish, gives an account of many villages and a 
population numbering many thousand souls, and 
that the Pueblo Indians, like the Pueblo Indians of 
today, possessed many of the characteristics- of civ- 

Many peoples from many climes, representatives 
from nearly every civilized nation in the world, are 
to be found in New Mexico; and yet medijeval con- 
servatism, and the successive steps from such life 
as was to be found in the cliff dwellings to the 
industrial methods of the ancient Egyptians, are 
awakened from the sleep of centuries by the on-rush 
of the locomotive and the mighty, onward, irresisti- 
ble awakening to modern civilization and modern 

[Original in Popular Science News.] 


An interesting plant, common in this locality, is 
the Cuscuta Grenovii, or, as it is usually called, the 
dodder. It belongs to the order convolvulaceae, and 
is the only order of the group. Although there are 
several species of the genus, this is said to be the 
only one found in New England. 

Its general appearance is that of a snarl of orange- 
colored twine. There is not a particle of green any- 
where about it. It is usually found twining about 
some coarse weed, as the nettle, cleavers, etc., and I 
have found it wound in interminable coils around 
the stalks of coarse grass. It is also often found 
on the willow. It is said that some parasites 
are restricted to a particular species of plants 
for support, and that their seeds germinate only 
when in contact with the stem or root of the 
species upon which they are destined to live; but 
the Cuscuta does not show such preference, as I 
have myself seen it upon several difterent kinds of 
plants in no wise related. Gray says that parasites 
are found only upon those plants whose elaborate 
juices furnish propitious nourishment. 



[May, 1S90. 

This curious vine possesses one well-known char- 
acteristic of its relative, the morning-glor^', — that of 
twining from right to left, or against the sun. In 
trying to remove a specimen from a stalk of eupato- 
rium, I found the bark broken, and only succeeded 
in removing the vine by breaking it in tiny pieces. 
If one will lake the trouble to examine the under 
surface, at the place where it adheres most closely to 
its support, he will discover by what means it is 
enabled to cling so tightly. Where it comes in con- 
tact with the bark, are developed minute papilte, 
which remind one of the tiny feet of some creeping 
thing, and suggest the curious fancy that the 
tenacity with which it clings is prompted by 
instinct. This arrangement is not wholly for sup- 
port, it seems, but by thus insinuating itself into 
the outer bark of the plant, it is enabled to draw 
from it its juices. At any other place along its 
entire length it may easily be uncoiled. 

As it steals its nourishment from that to which it 
clings, it has no need of digestive apparatus, there- 
fore leaves are wanting, but in their place it bears 
deeply-fringed oval scales. The tiny white flowers, 
produced late in summer, are the only deviation 
from the prevailing color of the plant. These are 
gathered together in a cymose cluster at a distance 
of ten or twelve inches apart. The tiny corolla is 
bell-shaped, five-parted, with a tube somewhat longer 
than the calyx lobes, which are ovate and spreading. 
The stamens are furnished with curiously fringed 
scales. The dead corolla remains upon the oyary, 
which is two-celled and four-ovuled. The spirally- 
coiled embryo germinates in the soil, but, upon 
rising from the ground, the root withers, and it 
becomes entirely parasitic. One specimen had the 
remains of a tiny thread-like root still adhering to 
it, though the germinating portion of the plant was 
at least twelve inches from the ground, clinging for 
dear life to a species of eupatorium known as 

Moosup Valley, R. I. 

This form is highly fantastic, disclosing sometimes 
the grotesque features of a " king's fool," again, the 
distorted figure of a dwarf, a comical elf, and so 
forth. Pearls of this character are mounted on 
pedestals of colored stone, richly embellished with 
gold and silver, and please the eye as curious bric-a- 
brac or paper-weights. 

The real "mission" of the pearl, however, is to 
enrapture inan in the capacity of a most gratifying 
jewel. Indeed, it receives more homage than either 
the diamond or the ruby. Years ago, it was custom- 
ary for jewelers to mount pearls in the form of a 
medallion, similar to the usual arrangement of the 
garnet. Now, the preference is to use them as set- 
tings; and its shimmering white appears most 
effective from the bed of glistening gold. In this 
way they are used on bracelets, necklaces, brooches, 
pins, ear-rings, and rings. 

In its modest splendor, the pearl can maintain its 
own beside any gem. Even the brilliant rays of 
the diamond cannot depreciate its beauty. Its quiet 
charm kindly heightens the liquid green of the 
emerald, enhances the deep-blue light of the sap- 
phire, and deepens the gleaming red of the ruby. 
While its unpretentious dignity lends grace to the 
most costly of gems, it does not scorn to aid the 
common stones. As graciously it casts its soft radi- 
ance over garnet, amethyst, topaz, or turquoise. 

fOriginal in Popular Science A'ews.J 


The pearl, like the calm, pure moon, ever fas- 
cinates the eye. In its charming modesty it resem- 
bles the violet, and occupies the same place among 
gems that this simple flower holds among gorgeous 
flora. Little wonder that its rare beauty entices 
thousands of bold divers to brave the perils of the 
deep. They seek it at the risk of fatal encounter 
with shark and sword-fish ; in defiance of the deadly 
embrace of the polyp. True, the diver does not 
make his perilous plunge solely because of his 
admiration for this matchless "daughter of the 
deep;" his fundamerital motive is the love of gold 
with which his labor is rewarded. Certainly, the 
poor diver is ambitious because of necessity, for 
the most robust of constitutions cannot endure 
the hardships of diving for more than — at the 
utmost — six years ! This peerless gem is obtained 
at the expense of many human lives. 

The most extensive pearl fisheries are conducted 
along the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Ceylon, and 
Japan. Every shell does not contain this treasure, 
and hundreds shatter the eager expectations of hid- 
den wealth. But to the diver, misfortunes, likewise 
blessings, never come singly; for if he finds one 
containing the coveted prize, he almost invariably 
finds many more of various size and form. In color 
they range from deepest black to pure white, fre- 
quently yellowish, and rarely delicate rose-pink. 

The pearl is "beauty unadorned," requiring no 
artificial aid — no mechanical art — to cut and polish. 
Its most peculiar form is the so-called "Barock." 

growing amidst heaps of snow is astonished at the 
endurance of the crocus. Its gentle companion, the 
snow-drop, is as frail, and even more precocious. 
Both are cordially welcomed after the bleak winter 
and the stormy morn of spring. 

[Original in i'vpuUtr Science Netffs.l 


Flowers undoubtedly bloom for some favored 
persons sooner and better than for the mass of 
mankind. Sometimes one is led to think that the 
delicate creatures respond to the love which is felt 
for them. We are sure that certain beech trees, for 
instance, are fully aware of our affection, as we 
stroke their smooth boles or caress their foliage. 

Any observer of Nature will notice from year to 
year that there are particular gardens in which cro- 
cuses make their appearance sooner than anywhere 
else. Nor does the degree of exposure always seem 
to account for the phenomenon. Rather, we think, 
the inmates are en rapport with the flowers. They 
nestle under the front piazza, catching the sunshine 
in their bright chalices, and oflering their brimming 
beauty to every visitor. 

We generally think of the crocus as a native of 
England, but its headquarters are in the East, 
although some species, like Crocus veriius, have 
long been established in the mother country. A 
kw species only extend to Central Europe. While 
some bloom only in the spring, others are as char- 
acteristically autumn flowers. They are all exceed- 
ingly beautiful dwarf herbs, with grass-like leaves, 
and arising from fleshy corms. The perianth is 
long, funnel-form, with narrow, erect tube, and a 
six-parted border. It closes at night, or when the 
sky is clouded, thus forming a sort of weather-glass. 
Crocus is a member of the iris, or flower-de-luce 
family. It has three stamens, included in the cup 
of the perianth, and a peculiar fringed, orange- 
colored stigma, which, together with the styles, 
forms in one species the " saflron " of commerce. 
The best of this comes from Spain. 

The crocus is very hardy, and becomes easily, 
though not permanently, established in grass plots. 
The colors of the species are yellow, violet, white, 
and shades between. Like all plants that blossom 
early, they become greatly endeared to man. Their 
coming is by no means an indication here in New 
England of the advent of spring.' We may en- 
counter many a rough blast and cold snow-squall 
after these apparently fragile beauties have reared 
their heads. No one who has sijen Alpine flowers 


A Good Preventive for the inroads of ants is a 
stripe of carbolated petrolatum, about half an inch 
in width, drawrb about the places frequented. 

The loss to manure by exposure, especially by 
leaching, in tests by the Cornell University, has 
reached as high as 42 per cent. The moral is, keep 
manure under shelter, or draw it upon the land at 

Paris consumes, on an average, 300,000 litres 
(quarts) of milk per day. In summer this quantity 
falls to 210,000 litres, and the difterence is used in 
making cream and fresh cheese. Four-fifths of this 
milk is furnished by milk companies, which gather 
it from as far as 60 or even 100 miles from Paris. 

A COLD storage company's circular says that if 
celery is packed in small boxes, placed in total dark- 
ness, and submitted to a certain low temperature for 
thirty to sixty days, it will not only be beautifully 
white and crisp, but will lose its natural bitterness 
and have the delicate flavor and fine appearance of 
the choicest fresh celery. 

Novel Training of Grapes. — A grape-grower 
in Bristol County, Massachusetts, has adopted a 
plan which, though it may not be new, is certainly 
interesting. He sets stout posts at suitable intervals, 
with smaller ones between wherever there is a vine, 
and upon these stretches two strong wires at a 
proper distance apart, the lower one being placed 
far enough from the ground to allow a horse and 
cultivator to pass freely underneath. By the use of 
high step-ladders the fruit can be readily harvested 
and the vines trimmed or handled at will. A 
similar method has been in use among the Italians 
since the time of the ancient Romans, at least. 

The Pleasures of a Deer Forest. — A corres- 
pondent of an English society paper enumerates the 
pleasures of being the tenant of a Highland deer 
forest. He explains that the place costs him £10,000 
a year, in addition to no end of small sums, which 
he grew tired of noting, and the pleasures which he 
obtained in return for this outlay were of the follow- 
ing character: " For a couple of hours at a time I 
have walked with the waters of a running stream 
well over my boots. A suit of clothes has been 
done for in a day's wear. Twice or thrice I have 
sunk up to my chest in a moss. Once I fell over a 
precipice. Once when crossing a loch I tell over- 
board, and was not fished out till I was nearly 
drowned. On another occasion I was lired at by 
one of my own gillies, who said he mistook me for 
a ' beastie,' of what kind I do not know, but I fancy 
I had rather a narrow escape. I'er contra, I have 
on five occasions brought down a good stag." 

A Novel Railroad Tariff. — Hungary has led 
the way in a railway experiment of very great 
interest. The whole country for railway purposes 
was divided into zones, and within each zone the 
railway fares for any distance travelled are equal. 
Short journeys and their frequency are intended to 
compensate for the expensiveness of long journeys. 
The results are said to be astonishingly successful. 
There has been an increase of seventy per cent, in 
the number of passengers and fifteen per cent, in 
the receipts. No additional expense has been in- 
curred, either in laying rails, buying carriages, or 
increasing the number of officials. This system is 
practically the application of the post-oflice stamp 
principle to given times of railway service. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 



Practical Cljeniistry aijd tlje ^rts. 


In ^•al■ious animal tissues, such as the skin, 
bones, intestines, etc., is found an interesting 
group of organic compounds, very closely 
resembling each other, aTid which, when 
treated with boiling water, are transformed 
into the well-known and exceedingly useful 
substance gelatine, which is the same as 
ordinary glue, ditteringfrom it only in purity. 
The most characteristic property of gelatine 
is that of solidifying, or gelatinizing, when 
solutions containing it are cooled below 68°. 
A solution in water containing only one per 
cent, of gelatine, will form the characteristic 
"jelly" when cooled. 

Common glue is prepared from the trim- 
mings of hides, and the refuse of slaughter- 
houses and tanneries. The skins are cleaned 
and steeped in lime water, and afterwards 
exposed to the air for some days. They are 
then boiled in water, and the resulting liquid 
run off and allowed to settle, after which it is 
left to cool and gelatinize in shallow boxes. 
The resulting cakes of soft glue are then dried 
on nets in large buildings, provided with 
movable blinds, so that the air can freely 
circulate through them in pleasant weather, 
while during .storms the glue can be protected 
from the weather. This process of drying 
requires great care, as a rise in the tempera- 
ture may cause the partially dried glue to 
liquefy, making a "mess" which requires 
much labor to clear up, to say nothing of the 
loss or damage to the stock. It was formerly 
supposed that glue could only be dried at 
temperatures above the freezing-point, but it 
was ijccidentally discovered in this country 
that frozen glue was of equally good quality, 
and the manufacture is now carried on all the 
3ear round. 

Cooking-gelatine is practically made by the 
same process, but much greater care is taken 
in selecting the stock, and the utmost cleanli- 
ness is necessary in all the processes. It 
forms a healthful and attractive article of diet, 
but its nutritive value is not very great. 

By long continued boiling, gelatine loses its 
its gelatinizing power! The same result is 
obtained by adding nitric or acetic acid to its 
solution. The ordinary liquid glues are made 
in this way, and a very good article may be 
extemporaneously prepared by throwing some 
pieces of glue into a bottle of vinegar, and 
shaking occasionally until it is dissolved. 
When chlorine gas is passed through a solu- 
tion of gelatine, it unites directly with it, 
precipitating an insoluble substance, and 
forming a very peculiar looking solid froth. 
Gelatine also imites with tannin to form an 
insoluble compound. This reaction is the 
basis of the tanning process by which raw 
hides are converted into leather. A minor 
application of this reaction is found in the 

use of fish-skin for settling coflee. The 
tannin of the coflee and the gelatine of the 
fish-skin unite, forming a solid, tenacious 
mass, which mechanically encloses the im- 
purities suspended in the coffee, in the same 
way as the coagulating albumen of the white 
of an egg, often used for the same purpose. 

When gelatine is placed in cold water, it 
softens and swells, but does not dissolve. 
On heating the water, however, it dissolves 
immediately. If some bichromate of potash 
is added to the gelatine, it still remains solu- 
ble if kept in the dark, but, if exposed to the 
sunlight, a chemical change — probably an 
oxidation — takes place, and it becomes per- 
fectly insoluble, even in boiling water. This 
property is of the greatest value anil impor- 
tance, as it is the basis of all the _iiiodern 
processes of photo-engraving, which have 
enabled us to make exact reproductions of 
the most celebrated works of art at a nominal 
cost. The ordinary kind of gelatine is also 
indispensable in the manufacture of photog- 
raphers' dry plates, which are coated with an 
emulsion of gelatine and finely-divided sensi- 
tive salts of silver, and, afler drying, will 
retain their sensitiveness for years without 
change. The collodion-coated plates formerly 
in use became worthless in a very short time 
after being prepared. 

The minor uses of gelatine are innumer- 
able. When combined with glycerine, it 
forms a soft, elastic mass, which is used for 
printers' ink-rollers, electrotype moulds, and 
for taking casts of irregularly shaped objects. 
The surface of this compound readily absorbs 
the aniline dyes, and this property is taken 
advantage of in the hektograph copying pad, 
which consists mainly of a shallow tray filled 
with this composition. Characters written on 
paper witli aniline ink are transferred to the 
surface by simple pressure, and a large num- 
ber of copies may be taken in the same way, 
as the gelatine readily yields sufficient of the 
color to fresh sheets of paper, when pressed 
upon it, to give a clear reproduction. 

Some fruits contain gelatinous principles 
known as pectic and pectosic acids, but they 
are entirely diflerent substances from the true 
■gelatine. It is these substances which render 
it possible to prepare fruit jellies, but they 
have much less gelatinizing power than the 
animal product. The cheap manufactured 
fruit jellies are frequently found to consist of 
animal gelatine, properly flavored, and to be 
entirely free from the pectose compounds 
which should legitimately be present. 

Phosphorus is an element dear to the 
heart of every amateur chemist, its remark- 
able inflammability and its ready adaptability 
to explosive and pyrotechnical eflects giving 
it an attractiveness to the youthful experi- 
menter, which is not justified when the great 

danger accompanying its use is taken into 
account. Some time ago, one of our readers 
wrote us an amusing account of his eacly 
experiments, in which he made up a mixture 
of phosphorus and chlorate of potash into 
" torpedoes," and placed them in his pocket 
for safe keeping and to avoid the observation 
of the teacher. As might be expected, how- 
ever, the treacherous compound soon made 
itself evident in the most unmistakable 
manner, and nothing but that special Prov- 
idence which is said to watch over bo\s 
and intoxicated persons prevented serious 

Phosphorus is one of the most active 
chemical elements we are acquainted with, 
being exceeded only by fluorine. It rushes 
into combination with other elements, espec- 
ially oxygen, on the smallest provocation. 
A temperature of 112° F. is sufficient to 
cause it to burst into flame, while, even at 
ordinary temperatures, when exposed to the 
air, a slow oxidation takes place, causing it 
to glow and emit luminous vapors. The 
slightest friction will raise its temperature to 
the igniting pdint, while if it is mixed with 
substances rich in oxygen, — like nitrate or 
chlorate of potash, or peroxide of lead, — a 
slight concussion causes the oxidation to take 
place with explosive violence. It is also 
excessively poisonous, when taken into the 
system, and even a burn from ignited phos- 
phorous produces a most painful sore, and 
one very slow in healing.* 

Like many other elements, however, phos- 
phorus exists in an allotrojjic form, known as 
red, or amorphous phosphorus. Although 
this is chemically identical with the ordinary 
variety, its physical characteristics are very 
different. When ordinary phospM)rus is 
iieated in a vacuum, or in a gas in which it 
cannot burn, to a temperature of about 4^0° 
F. for a considerable length of time, it 
becomes converted into a red, infusible sub- 
stance, which has a much higher specific 
gravity than the ordinary variety (2.14 as 
compared with 1.83), and is insoluble in the 
usual solvents of phosphorus. It cannot be 
ignited by friction, and, in fact, is uninflam- 
mable until a temperature of 500° F. is 
reached, when it changes back into ordinary 
phosphorus. When mixed and rubbed with 
dry bichromate of potash, it does not explode, 
and when mixed with nitrate of potash it will 
not explode by friction, but if ignited burns 
off quietly. It cannot resist, however, the 
influence of chlorate of potash or peroxide of 
lead, but, when mixed with these substances, 
explodes more or less violently by heat and 
friction. It is also, apparently, non-poisonous. 
Amorphous phosphorus is extensively used 
in the composition of the surfaces for iirnitino- 
safety matches. The matches are tipped with 
an inflammable composition containing chlo- 
rate of potash, which, when rubbed upon the 



[May, 1S90. 

amorphous phosphorus, unites with it at once 
and ignites. 

The existence of allotropic, or different 
varieties of the same element, is a chemical 
mystery which has never been fully accounted 
for. It is a strong argument in favor of the 
compound nature of the elements, or, at least, 
an indication that the molecules of the ele- 
ments are composed of atoms, and have a more 
or less complicsted structure, like the well- 
known isomeric hydrocarbons, which show 
similar phenomena. We have also some 
reason to believe that many other elements 
may show allotropic modiiications, in their 
compounds, at least, although they have not 
yet been distinguished in their free condition. 



Since the invention of the rapid dry plates 
which have made instantaneous photography 
a possibility, many attempts have been made 
to fix the successive positions taken by men 
and animals in their natural inovements, and 
with much success. The best of these photo- 

image, and then passing on to give place to 
the next one. The particulars of the mechan- 
ism are not given in La Nature, from which 
we copy the engraving, but the results as 
shown by it are very fine, and indicate a 
remarkable amount of mechanical skill and 
ingenuity. The figures represent the posi- 
tions taken by a horse and rider as they 
moved past the camera, commencing at the 
upper right-hand corner, and following each 
line from right to left, in a reverse direction 
to the lines of a printed page. If M. Marey's 
apparatus proves to be as practicable as is 
claimed, it will undoubtedly be of great value 
and importance to both science and art. 


As silver and lead ver^ commonly occur in nature 
combiped together in the same mineral substances, 
a more easy, rapid, and correct method for the de- 
tection of the former in the presence of the latter 
than any of those generally adopted in practice has 
for a long time been greatly desired, especially by 
assayers and mineralogists. 

The author, who has spent much of his time in 

graphs have been taken by Mr. Muybridge, 
of San Francisco, who placed a number of 
cameras side by side, so arranged that the 
exposure was made by the man, horse, or 
other animal itself, as it moved past tiiem. 
The results obtained were very remarkable, 
the attitudes caught by the sensitive plate 
being so extraordinary and apparently unnat- 
ural that, without the unimpeachable evidence 
afforded by the photographs, one would have 
been justified in saying that they were entirely 
the result of the artist's imagination. 

M. Marey, of France, has recently invented 
an apparatus by which, with a single camera, 
as many as fifty successive exposures of a 
moving object may be taken in a single 
second. Instead of glass plates, he uses a 
sensitive film, which is rolled from one cylin- 
der to another, stopping in the focus of the 
objective just long enough to receive the 

the determination of naturally occurring argentif- 
erous lead compounds, has attempted to supply such 
a method in the extremely simple one detailed 
below, and he hopes it may prove, in the hands of 
others, as successful as it has invariably been with 

When a mineral which contains both ot the 
above metals is heated in the ordinary course of 
blowpipe analysis, on charcoal with fusion mixture, 
(K2C03+Na2C03), in the inner or reducing tiame, it 
yields, as is well known, a malleable metallic lead 
(usually lead-gray in color), which is an alloy of 
silver and lead. The silver is readily detected in 
this alloy by treating it as follows : Place it in an 
evaporating dish and cover it well over with moder- 
ately strong nitric acid, and then boil the liquid till 
the bead or beads dissolve ; next nearly neutralize 
the solution thus obtained, with sodium carbonate, 
in a rough manner, but so that it will remain 
weakly acid after the operation. In. this prepared 
solution now allow to lie for some time two strips — 
one of bright copper, and the other of zinc. The 
lead of the solution soon becomes deposited on the 

zinc, while the silver almost entirely goes to coat 
the copper foil ; lift out the latter, and apply to the 
deposit on it a drop of fairly strong nitric acid, and 
then quickly afterwards a drop of potassium chro- 
mate solution. Or, dip the coated foil into moder- 
ately string nitric acid for an instant, and then into 
a dish containing potassium chromate solution. 
The reddish-brown «iass which forms at once, either 
on the upper or under side of the foil, is a sure indi- 
cation of silver. The deposit on the zinc may be 
treated in the same way, and the lemon-yellow mass 
of lead chromate which results will contrast well 
with the brown incrustation obtained on the copper. 
If no silver is present in the solution, the copper 
foil will scarcely become coated at all when placed 
in it. — A. Johnstone, in Chemical News. 

Blue Soap, rendering the employment of bluing 
in laundry work unnecessary, is made by incorpo- 
rating with ordinary soap a solution of aniline 
green in strong acetic acid. By the action of the 
alkali of the soap, the green is converted into blue, 
uniformly coloring the mass. 

In the Matter of Railwav.s, Japan appears to 
be going ahead tolerably fast. Considerably over 
1,000 miles are already in operation, while an equal 
quantity are under construction or surveyed, and 
will be open within a year or two from now. The 
projected railways exceed 700 miles in length, with 
a capital exceeding £6,000.000 sterling. 

Scale in Boilers. — It is estimated that the pres- 
ence of i-i6 inch of scale causes a loss of 13 per 
cent, of fuel; 'i of inch, 3S per cent., and % of an 
inch of scale, 60 per cent. The Railway Master 
Mechanics' Association of the United States esti- 
mates that the toss of fuel, extra repairs, etc. , due 
to incrustation, amounts to an average of $750 
for every locomotive in the Western and Middle 

Incombustible Textiles. — There are many sub- 
stances which have the property of rendering the 
fabrics to which they are applied incombustible, but 
they usually spoil them, either by changing the 
color or stiffening them to such a degree that they 
cannot be used. An easy and safe way of protecting 
curtains and mosquito nets against lire is said to be 
by steeping them in a solution of phosphate of 
ammonia, obtained by mixing Vi a liter of water (i 
pint) with 100 grammes (about 3 ounces) of phos- 
phate. In this way the color and texture remain 

New Insulating Compound. ^-A new insulatin"- 
compound which finds favor among manufacturers 
of electrical instruments and machinery in France 
consists of one part of Greek pitch and two parts of 
burnt plaster by weight, the latter being pure gvpsum 
raised to a high temperature and plunged in water. 
The mixture, when hot. is a paste, and can be 
applied by a brush or cast in moulds. It is 
amber-colored, and can be turned and polished. 
Its advantage is said to be endurance of great 
heat and moisture without injury to its insulating 

Electrical Doors. — An admirablearrangement, 
looking to the quick and safe empyting of the house, 
has just been adopted at the Tremont Theatre in 
Boston. At any time, by simply touching a button 
in any one of the eight handy places in different 
parts of the theatre, seventeen sets of folding doors, 
leading to as many exits, open simultaneously, 
actuated by electrical apparatus. The expense of 
the improvements is said to have been considerable, 
but it is eafe to say that the public will appreciate 
the advantage of being able to take their pleasure 
without any dread of fire and panic. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 



Tlje Oit-Door morld. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
[P. O. Address, Pittsfield, Mass.] 




On February 27th and 28th, and March ist, 

very enjoyable Convention of those Chap- 
ters of the Agassiz Association that are within 
a hundred miles of New York City, was held 
there, under the auspices of the New York 
City and the New Jersey State Assemblies. 

On Thursday the regular quarterly meeting 
of the New York City Assembly was held at 
the Friends' Seminary, Rutherford place and 
Sixteenth street, and this was followed by a 
meeting of the Convention Committee. 

On Friday, at 2.15 P. M., the delegates 
assembled by invitation at the College for the 
Training of Teachers, where they first at- 
tended an interesting lesson in science, given 
by Prof; J. F. Woodhull to a grammar class. 
After this they were conducted through the 
scientific and manual training departments of 
the college ; and at 4 o'clock all gathered in 
the lecture room, where the Convention 
proper was opened by the President of the 
Agassiz Association, who spoke on the advan- 
tages of a thorough scientific training, and 
explained how such a training could be 
secured by means of the aid aflbrded by the 
Association. This address was followed by 
one on "The Relation of Science to the 
New Education," by Prof. Walter L. Hervey, 
Dean of the Faculty of tiie New York Col- 
lege for the Training of Teachers; after 
which Prof. Woodhull interested the audi- 
ence for half an hour by a delightful talk on 
"Some Simple Experiments in Natural Sci- 
ence," which he performed at the same time, 
in the most dextrous and graceful manner, by 
way of illustration. 

In the evening there was a remarkable 
exhibition at the rooms of Chapter 949 (Z), 
of New York, No. 49 W. Twentieth street. 
This Chapter is composed almost wholly of 
boys and young men between the ages of 
twelve and sixteen, and the collections they 
have made, classified, and Labeled are equally 
a credit to themselves and an honor to the 
society. The walls were covered with speci- 
mens of preserved plants, some of thhm of 
great rarity, and one or two never known in 
the localities where they were found until the 
bright eyes of the Agassiz boys discovered 
them. In one corner was a large collection 
of beautiful butterflies and moths, while in 
the center of the room was a really wonder- 
ful collection of the minerals of New York 
City, some of which were first discovered 
there by members of this Chapter. Fine 
specimens of crystals of garnet attracted 

special attention. One room was devoted to 
a inicroscopical exhibition. The large cabi- 
nets, with tier after tier of drawers, were 
made by the boys' own hands. The rooms 
were crowded during the evening by an 
admiring throng of visitors, among whom 
ladies and gentlemen fairly outnumbered 
boys and girls. After the visitors had de- 
parted, a camera was produced, and one of 
the boys took a flash-light photograph of the 
attractive rooms. 

We take the following account of the last 
day of the Convention from the JVeiv York 
Times of March 3 : 

The annual Convention of the Agassiz Associa- 
tion closed yesterday with the best programme of 
the week. A number of newly-arrived delegates 
reported in the morning, among whom were T. H. 
Porter and E. S. Evans, of Stamford, Conn. ; N. 
Ling, of London, England; Dr. M. D. Hussy, of 
Orange, N. J. ; S. E. Breed, J. Young, and M. 
Polk, of Cornwall-on-Hudson; S. Willard Bridg- 
ham, of Providence, R. L ; Prof. John Shallcross, 
President of the Philadelphia Assembly, and J. S. 
Taylor, Secretary; Miss L. P'aulks, of the Elizabeth 
Hill and Dale Club, and S. E. Barney of Orange, 

The session was held in the geological rooms of 
the Columbia School of Mines. Vice Chancellor 
MacCracken of the university delivered the opening 
prater, and the reports of the various Assemblies 
followed. The report of the New Jersey Assembly 
came from its President, the Rev. L. 11. Lighthipe. 
The report of the Rhode Island Assembly was pre- 
sented by S. Willard Bridgham, of Providence; 
that of the Philadelphia Assembly by Prof. John 
Shallcross; the New York City Assembly by Dr. 
C. II. Bushong; the Massachusetts Assembly by 
Prof. Harlan II. Ballard, President of the Associa- 
tion ; the Hill and Dale Club, composed of members 
of suburban Chapters, by Miss L. Faulks, of Eliza- 
beth, N. J. Reports were also made by President 
Ballard showing the progress made by the Agassiz 
Chapters of the Australian Royal Society, the Rus- 
sian Agassiz Chapters, the Chapters among the 
colored people of Alabama, and in the Indian school 
at Hampton, Va. President B.-Ulard also described 
the founding of the first Agassiz organization in his 
country school at Lenox, Mass., and showed how 
the work had increased and multiplied, until todiiy 
the Association contains 1,000 Chapters and 17,000 

President Seth Low of Columbia delivered the 
address of welcome, extending to the Association 
the courtesies of the college. He said that the 
disciples of Agassiz were doing a work of love 
which had few parallels in the history of scientific 
investigation. In concluding his remarks. Presi- 
dent Low recited Longfellow's verses immortalizing 
Prof. Agassiz and his work. 

Prof. J. S. Newberry delivered a lecture on " Early 
Man in America." A portion of his remarks were 
devoted to a discussion of the date of the birth of 
Christ, the speaker contending that the Biblical 
date is incorrect. According to the Bible, Christ 
was born 4,004 years after the creation, but Prof. 
Newberry challenged this statement as a "contribu- 
tion to theological science by an erratic writer." 
The chronology of the Bible is filled with irrecon- 
cilable difi'erences springing from this mistake. 
From stone relics and fossils found in the Swiss 
lake bottoms. Prof. Newberry held that the world 
was much older than is recorded in the Bible, and 
that the chronology aftecting the birth of Christ is 
correspondingly incorrect. 

At the afternoon session, Prof. N. L. Britton 
delivered an address on "The Geological History 
of Plants." The lecture room was crowded to the 
doors. While the stereopticon views were chang- 
ing, suddenly there appeared upon the screen a 
picture of snakes in every conceivable posture. 
"This," said the professor, waving his pointing- 
rod, "represents New Jersey in the cretaceous 
period." Everybody smiled. Continuing, Prof. 
Britton discussed the various stages of organic life 
and the formations of stratified rock in their rela- 
tions to primary vegetable life. The sequence of 
vegetable germs was traced from the bacteria of the 
remote Laurentian Age, through the fungi, lichens. 

and ferns of the Devonian and Tertiary Ages, up to 
the age of man. In describing terrestrial vegeta- 
tion, Prof. Britton described the coal formations of 
remote ages and of the present day. 

Prof. Jerome Allen delivered an address on "A 
Few Fundamental Principles in Science Teaching." 
"The great object in teaching children the mathe- 
matical sciences," he said, " is to instill in their 
minds habits of exactness and accurate observation 
by comparison. Without comparison the work will 
be valueless. The bringing together of two or 
more objects for purposes of comparison promotes 
discrimination and distinction." 

Mr. George F. Kunz, of the New York Miner- 
alogical Club, read a paper on "The Mineralogy of 
New York City and Vicinity." This paper was one 
of the most interesting features of the session. Mr. 
Kunz is the founder of the New York Mineralogical 
Club and the man to whom it owes its success. 
Although the club was organized only three years 
ago, it has the best-known collection of minerals of 
this locality, made up of the famous collections of 
the late Issachar Cozzens, the Chamberlain collec- 
tion, and Mr. Kunz'sown private collection. In his 
remarks yesterday Mr. Kunz said Manhattan Island 
contained one hundred varieties of minerals, repre- 
senting seventy-five species, more than can be found 
in any other known locality. He thought this a 
pretty good showing for a city without mines or 
quarries. His remarks were made doubly interest- 
ing by the production of specimens found in the 
city, notable among which was the famous garnet 
found in Thirty-fifth street, near Seventh avenue. 
This, Mr. Kunz said, was the finest specimen of 
garnet in the I'nited States. The minerals found 
in the vicinity of New York, notably at Bergen 
Hill, N. J., Sing Sing, and on Staten Island, were 
made the subjects of extended comment, and devel- 
oped facts of which few are aware. Datolite, "the 
pride of Bergen Hill," was shown side by side with 
the stalactites of Staten Island and the calcite crys- 
tals of tlie Hudson Valley. Hoboken and New 
Rochelle produce immense serpentine outcropinngs. 
The cuttings of the Pennsylvania and Erie roads 
reveal deposits of yellow zeolites and calcites. In 
the vicinity of Prospect Park forty distinct minerals 
are found. 

The afternoon session concluded with an address 
by Prof. C. H. A. Bjerregaard, of the Astor Library, 
on " Why We Study Nature." This was in the 
nature of a plea for the development of the study of 
natural history among children. 

At the evening session, Prof. A. S. Bickmore 
delivered a lecture on "British Columbia and 
Alaska," illustrated by stereopticon views. 

The success which has attended this Convention 
has awakened much enthusiasm in the local Agassiz 
organization, and before final adjournment it was 
decided to hold a seaside assembly on the New 
Jersey coast during the summer. 

[Note. — The Titnes reporter is wrong in his state- 
ment of Prof. Newberry's discussion of the "chro- 
nology of the Bible." He took especial pains to say 
that the dates which appear in our English Bibles 
are not Biblical, but merely the addition of Arch- 
bishop Usher, and that therefore the Bible is in no 
way responsible for them. Prof. Newberry did not 
discuss the chronology of the Bible at all. — Editor.] 


The editor of the Popular Science 
News, desiring to encourage the members 
of the Agassiz Association to increased dili- 
gence in the matter of the personal observa- 
tion of Nature, ofl'ers a fine microscope, 
valued at twenty-five dollars, to the member 
or Chapter of the A. A. sending the best 
record of personal observations to the Presi- 
dent of the Association before September i, 
1890. This recofd may be in the form of a 
note-book, or it may be on separate sheets. 
It may be illustrated by sketches or photo- 
graphs, or it may be a simple statement of 
what has been observed, without illustration. 
In awarding the prize, due weight will be 



[May, 1S90. 

given to accuracy, neatness, and beauty of 
style, but the main idea is to award the prize 
to the person showing the most originality 
and scientific ability in his methods of obser- 
vation, and in the results secured. The 
observations may be made in any field, 
according to individual preference, whether 
botany, mineralogy, entomology, or any other 
department of natural science. All observa- 
tions must be original and new — that is, made 
after reading this announcement. There are 
four months in which to use 3'our eyes and 
brains, and in that time many interesting 
things should be discovered. Correspondence 
on this subject should be addressed to the 
President of the Agassiz Association, at Pitts 


+♦+ — ' 

ones having been lost through carelessness. To 
remedy this and to make permanent the results of 
our studies, at the same time largely assisting to 
increase the esprit de corps, it has been thought 
advisable to publish the best reports in a semi- 
annual—perhaps quarterly— bulletin, which we hope 
to introduce to the botanically-inclined members of 
the Agassiz Association before long. Plans are 
being made to increase the membership and largely 
extend the usefulness of the Chapter during the 
present year. I shall be pleased to send a copy 01 
the constitution, or to answer any questions con- 
cerning the Chapter, to those who will enclose a 
two-cent stamp for reply. 

G. H. Hicks, Pres. 
Lock Box 766, Owosso, Mich. 

Mauine Shells of California, for other 
shells. Lists exchanged. — M. Burton Wil- 
liamson, University P. O., Los Angeles Co., 



Mr. Alex. Wight, of Framingham, Mass., 
is now ready to receive applications for his 
Agassiz Association lessons in botany. He 
furnishes prepared specimens with lesson 
leaflets, and corrects all exercises carefully. 
Further details may be given next month, 
but all interested — and all are invited to be 
interested — should address Mr. Wight at once. 

It gives us great pleasure to present the 
following most encouraging report from 
Chapter 2, and to congratulate the Chapter 
upon its growth and excellent work : 

Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter or the 
Agassiz Association. 

Owosso, Mich., Jan. 6, 1890. 
This Chapter Avas organized in December, 1S87, 
with ten members. Its objects and methods have 
been given from time to time in the Swiss Cross. 
During the past year it has grown steadily, and 
now numbers forty-three members, living in twenty 
States and Territories. Seven of the members 
occupy chairs of science in various colleges. Of 
the remainder, many are students or teachers, but a 
considerable number are occupied with secular 
affairs, and make the study of botany their favorite 
recreation. Phanerogamic botany has, of course, 
received the most attention from the Chapter, each 
member of which is required to write a report each 
quarter. As the members represent so varied floras, 
and as many of their reports have been illustrated 
by pen and ink sketches, they have been very inter- 
esting, some being worthy of publication. At 
present, one member is studying the ferns of central 
Maryland; the President is especially interested in 
sedges; two members are studying fungi; another, 
the algiE of the South Californian coast; another, 
lichens. One member studied mosses last summer 
under Prof. Barnes, of Madison, Wis. Much of tlie 
work has been the study and comparison of local 
floras, which has already resulted in many rare 
"finds." A serious obstacle to the prosperity of 
the Chapter has been the irregularity of receiving 

[Written for "The Out-Door Worlil."] 



Of the Agassiz Association. 
Whether or not it is true, as has been said, that 
our American robin follows civilization, I do know 
that when we first came to this Colorado valley, in 
the spring of 'Si, we watched in vain for the robin's 
note. Three years later, we were gladdened one 
spring morning by the unmistakable song that car- 
ried us back to our childhood days in the old orchard 
at home. Since then they have never failed us, and 
are becoming more plentiful. However, right here 
at our home we have never seen but one pair in a 
season, although we can have no evidence that it is 
the same pair, and they never build in one tree 
twice. I think we prize them most for their music; 
but last spring our robins showed so much confi- 
dence in us, in a time when they were in great 
adversity, that I want to tell it to the readers of 
"The Out-Door World." 

Our house stands in a grove of pinon pine,— a 
low, wide-branching evergreen, very suitable for 
nest-building,— and many varieties of birds make 
their homes with us. We knew from their move- 
ments about where the robins had built, but we had 
never located the tree. One day a hired man was 
set at trimming some of the trees in the inclosure 
not far away from the house. My husband had 
charged him to watch carefully for birds' nests, and 
especially not to touch a tree in which he might 
find a robin's nest. But, when I walked out in the 
afternoon, to give some directions about the work, 
he pointed to a nest upon the ground, and said " he 
was sorry, but he forgot to look for a nest in that 
tree until he saw the bird fly away as the limb fell to 
the ground." All but two of the eggs were broken. 
We saw the mother robin perched on a tree some 
distance away. We saw. our birds after that, sitting 
or hopping about among the trees a little. They 
seemed to be debating some question. By-and-by 
they appeared to be working. 

But one day we missed them wholly. On a limb 
of one of the trees was their partly-made nest, but 
the birds themselves were nowhere to be seen. 
They had evidently abandoned their newly-begun 
home, and whither had they gone.' The season for 
nest-building was now very far advanced, and we 
supposed they had given it up. But in a few days 
they were seen among the trees very close to the 
opposite side of the house. They were hopping 
about in a lively manner, and seemed as cheerful 
and happy as if no evil had come near. We were 
careful not to watch them too closely, lest they 
might grow discontented and leave us altogether. 
A few days after this, our little girl came running 
and calling, "Oh, mamma! mamma! come and 
see!" She led me to the tree just in front of the 
kitchen door; then, pointing straight up the trunk 

We waited a few days longer; then my husband, 
from a step-ladder, proclaimed that there were 
alre<idy two eggs in the nest. The mother bird 
soon came back, and we knew that they had fully 
settled on their new home. 

Their first attempt at rebuilding their home was 
on a projecting limb, similar in position to the one 
the axe had felled to the ground. Who can doubt 
that, after beginning this, they reasoned that it, too, 
might be cut oft'.' Their final choice was in a fork 
of the main trunk of a tree; and we like to think 
that, in choosing this tree so near to our very door, 
they believed we would protect them from the mer- 
ciless axe and its careless wielder. 

Salida, Colorado. 

[Written for "The Out-Door World."] 


BY PROF. W. W. bailey, 

0/ tlte Agassiz Association Council. 
Nature is pretty much the same, year after year. 
We ourselves only forget the events of past seasons. 
A carefully-kept diary will refute many fallacies in 
regard to weather, the coming of birds, or the open- 
ing of flowers. 

So much for overture. New for the application. 
A few days ago, cold and sceptical after an unregen- 
erate March and an unpromising April, the writer 
strolled into the woods. To his surprise,— though 
he should never have been astonished,— he heard 
the hylas— or, as we say, the toads— singing in the 
marshes. And what is there like that cheerv 
sound, so pure, confident, and happy.' " Here we 
are ! " the little fellows say. "Nothing can keep us 
back. We have an engagement to meet the song- 
.sparrows, the blue-birds, and the robins. Surely 
you would not have us delay ! " And, yes— there is 
the sor^-sparrow's note, refuting the silly statement 
that American birds cannot sing. What do vou 
expect of them— a Greek chorus or a German opera .' 
Or, perhaps, we don't know what singing is ! 

There are the black-birds, too,— those jolly mug- 
wumps,— holding a convention and voting supplies. 
But, most spring-like of all signs, here are the 
hazels and alders in full, swinging tassel and golden 
pollen. Like the psalmist, now we burst into 
praise, sometimes in his language, and then in 
ours, but always in a strain triumphant and glad, 
the burden of which is that God is good ! 

What is it, we wonder, that produces this thrill of 
ecstasy at the sight of awakening Nature.' In the 
winter we often grow sombre, and half believe that 
things don't pay. We are sure that corporations 
don't, or poorly, and that life is one of Mr. Man- 
talinis' "grinds," adjective and all. But in spring, 
with the sun shining, the sky blue, the birds carol- 
ling, and flowers blooming, we are optimistic to a 
degree. The last state, induced by Nature in her 
smiling mood, we take to be the natural and better 
frame of mind. That we may not lose the phantom 
of joy, henceforth, for some months, we live in the 

Many interesting reports and notes 
crow'led out this month to make room 
the report of the New York Convention. 


REPOUT.S of the Sixth Century (Chapters 
501-600) should reach the President by June 1 . 

reports in some of the divisions, some valuable I of the tree, she exclaimed, " A robin's nest ! 

All are cordially invited to join the ^Vgas- 
siz As.sociation, and all communications for 
tliis department should be addressed to Mr. 
Harlan H. Ballard, President A. A., 
Pittsfield, Mass, 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 



Slje Popular Science I^ews. 

BOSTON, MAY i, 1890. 


WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt.D., . AsBocmte gtlitor. 

In an interesting paper, recently published 
■)y Dr. D. G. Brinton, upon the origin of the 
Semitic races, — including the Syrians, Assy- 
rians, and Jews, — he takes the ground that 
jthe Asiatic Semites were immigrants, not 
fdirectly from Europe, but along the southern 
or African shore of the Mediterranean, from 
some region near its western extremity ; and, 
as the younger and more active students of 
Aryan ethnology have accepted the theory 
that the Ar3an stock originated in Europe 
and appeared in Asia only as immigrants, 
therefore both the great divisions of the white 
sub-species of man originated on or near the 
North Atlantic coast of the eastern continent. 
Dr. Brinton claims that a proper translation 
of the first chapter of Genesis would indicate 
the belief of the Jews that the garden of 
Eden and the place of their origin was to the 
wcjr/warrf of Palestine, and offers many other 
strong arguments in support of his novel 
theory. Dr. Brinton's views are questioned 
by Prof. MoRiiis Jasthow, who is inclined 
to favor the northeastern coast of Africa, in 
the vicinity of what is now Egypt, as the 
cradle of the Semitic race. 

A woKD of caution should be given photo- 
graphic amateurs in regard to the use of com- 
pound "flash-powders." These frequently 
contain such substances as chlorate of potash, 
picric acid, etc., which form highly explosive 
compounds when mixed with magnesium 
powder. Serious accidents have occurred 
from their use, and the best and safest way to 
obtain a flash-light, is to burn only pure mag- 
nesium powder in some one of the many 
excellent lamps constructed for that purpose. 
In addition to their safety, much better pic- 
tures can be obtained in this way. The eyes 
should be shielded as much as possible from 
the light, as the intensity and suddenness of 
the flash cannot but have a inore or less inju- 
rious etfect. The best results in photograph- 
ing interiors and groups can usually be ob- 
tained by holding the lamp to one side of the 
camera, some distance above the floor, so as 
to throw the shadows downward. 

It is a well-known fact that, in ancient 
times, the Phoenicians had numerous settle- 
ments on the southern coast of England. An 
interesting discovery has recently been made, 
in a little village in Devonshire, of some 
direct descendants of these ancient colonists. 
For many centuries a family by the name of 
Ballhatchet has resided on a farm known as 
Ballford, or Baal's ford. The family name is 
evidently a corruption of Baal-Akhed. Imme- 

diately above the farm rises a hill, which is 
known to this day as Baal-Tor, or rock of 
Baal. The last male survivor of the family, 
Mr. Thomas Ballhatchet, is seventy-four 
years of age, and is said to have a facial 
type quite distinct from that of the natives of 
Cornwall and Devon, and distinctly of a 
Levantine character. The long survival of 
this name of the Phoenician deity is very 
interesting, and it is quite possible that the 
present Mr. Ballhatchet is a direct descendant 
of an ancient Phoenician priest of Baal, 
whose temple formerly stood upon the ground 
now occupied by his farm buildings. 

The fact that, in pre-historic times, the use 
of bronze was, apparently, not preceded by 
the use of unalloyed copper for making uten- 
sils and implements, has always been a puzzle 
to archaeologists. In America, the native 
copper from the Lake Superior region was 
extensively used, but the ancient inhabitants 
of the old world seem to have passed at once 
from the age of stone to that of bronze — a 
metal requiring considerable skill to produce, 
while the tin ore necessary for its manufacture 
only occurs in a few localities difficult of 
access. Although archaeologists agree that 
the use of unalloyed copper for arms and 
utensils preceded that of bronze, the date of 
the introduction of the alloy of copper and 
tin has never been satisfactorily settled ; but 
M. Bekthelot has recently made an analy- 
sis of metal found in the sceptre of Pepi I., 
an Egyptian king who reigned some thirty- 
five or forty centuries before the Christian 
era, and finds it to consist of pure copper, 
from which he comes to the conclusion, based 
upon this and other proof, that the art of 
bronze manufacture has not been known, at 
the longest, for more than from fifty to sixty 

A SOCIETY of Faith Curists in Brooklyn, 
who failed to report cases of contagious dis- 
ease, or to provide proper medical attendance 
for their sick, recently found themselves in 
trouble with the authorities of that city, who 
attempted to compel them to act in a more 
rational and humane manner. The society 
held a special meeting to consider the subject, 
and finally sent a committee to the coroner, 
announced a change in their beliefs, and said 
that, in the future, they would call upon 
doctors to attend the cases of sickness occur- 
ring among them. It is gratifying to learn 
that this preposterous delusion is becoming a 
thing of the past, and, in some of its mani- 
festations, it seems a proper matter for legal 
interference. Of course the law has no right 
to compel an adult to submit to any kind of 
medical treatment that he does not desire, 
but when little children, or persons rendered 
feeble by disease, are allowed to suffer and die 
by reason of the ignorant fanaticism of their 
natural protectors, the local authorities may 

properly come to their aid, and compel such 
measures to be taken for their relief as the 
general experience of mankind has shown to 
be of service in such cases. 

A SINGLE book valued at $26,350 is some- 
thing of a curiosity, but such a volume has 
recently been exhibited and offered for sale in 
this city b}' the well-known London book- 
seller, Mr. Qiiaritch. It is a copy of the 
Psalterium cum Ca>ific/s, and is printed on 
vellum. It was printed in 1459, by Fust and 
Schoefler, the direct successors of Gutenburg. 
It is the second book ever printed with a 
date, and the costliest book ever sold, as well 
as one of the most beautiful. The typogra- 
phy and mechanical executian is remarkable, 
considering the early date at which it was 
published, and would compare favorably 
with the best work of modern printers. Only 
eight copies are known to be in existence. 

The next half century will undoubtedly 
witness a remarkable increase in the exten- 
sion of the railroad systems of the world. 
Only a few hundred miles remain to be built 
to complete a direct line between Europe and 
India, and, if it were not for political consid- 
erations, it would have already been finished. 
China will undoubtedly build connecting 
lines, and the Russians have already com- 
menced the construction of a line across 
Siberia to the Pacific Ocean. In this coun- 
try, a railroad running south from Mexico, 
through the Isthmus of Panama, and connect- 
ing with the already existing South American 
systems to Rio Janeiro and Buenos Ayres, 
will undoubtedly be built in the near future, 
and it has even been proposed to build a 
road northward through Alaska to Behring's 
Straits, and down through Siberia on the 
other side, connecting with the Russian lines. 
If this line should ever be constructed, a pas- 
senger might travel from New York to 
London "without change of cars," and only 
two short ferriages across Behring's Straits 
and the English Channel, and the earth 
would then be completely encircled with an 
iron highway, except for the passage of the 
Atlantic Ocean. There seems to be no pos- 
sible way to cross that stormy bit of water, 
except by steamship or sailing vessel, and we 
presume travellers to Europe will be obliged 
for many years to come to content themselves 
with the indifferent accommodations offered 
by the various lines of Atlantic steamships. 

Those interested in astronomy will have 
an opportunity to observe a total eclipse of 
the sun under fiivorable conditions, in the 
year 1900. It will occur in the early morning 
of May 27th, and will be visible from Vir- 
ginia to Louisiana. It is to be hoped that the 
" clerk of the weather" will be in good humor 
and provide better weather than the observers 
of recent eclipses have been favored with. 



[May, 1S90. 

In a very ancient Chinese work, said to 
have been written in the reign of Fo-clii, 
3500 B. C, the accompanying diagram 
occurs, under the title of Lo-chou. Al- 
though it evidently indicates some mathe- 
matical rule or formula, its exact significance 
has been the source of much speculation, 
and many theories, of more or less proba- 
bility, have been advanced to explain its 

It remained for M. Lucas, a contributor to 
La Nature, to suggest a simple and reason- 
able explanation of the figure, which is 
entirely confirmed by the figure itself. He 
claims it is simply a magic square, repre- 
sented in the only way that it could be by a 
person ignorant of figures. It will be seen 
that, in whichever direction one counts the 
groups of spots and circles, whether horizon- 
tally, vertically, or diagonally, the total pro- 
duct will always be fifteen. The above 
figure, translated into Arabic numerals, 
would be written thus. 










and a simple inspection of the two diagrams 
will be sufficient to convince anyone that the 
mysterious Lo-chou has no hidden mystic, or 
even mathematical meaning, but is simply the 
attempt of tome ancient student, ignorant of 
figures, to express that remarkable relation of 
numbers to each other which, under the name 
of the magic square, is a familiar source of 
amusement to every schoolboy of the present 
day. It is certainly a very curious circum- 
stance that tills arrangeinent shoidd have been 
known, not only at such an early period, but 
even before the invention of figures to express 
the numbers themselves. 

Nickel, cobalt, iron, and several other metals, 
separate very rapidly from cold sulphocyanide solu- 
tions under the influence of a weak electric current, 
according to recent experiments by E. F. Smith and 
L. K. Frankel. 

[Original in Popular Science News.] 




In the study of animals, after two or three have 
been carefully observed they should then be com- 
pared. It will, therefore, be helpful to recall Jhat 
we have thus far studied a one-celled animal, the 
amoeba, — representing the Protozoa, or first great 
division of the animal kingdom, — and a many-celled 
animal, the hydra, — representing the second sub- 
kingdom, the Coelenterata. It will be remembered 
that in the hydra the cells are arranged in two 
layers, differing somewhat from each other in their 
properties, — that is, forming tissues, — and that the 
general form of the body is that of a sack, the cav- 
ity of which serves as a stomach. It will not be 
out of the way to conceive the hydra to be an 
aggregation of amoebas in the form of a two-layered 
sack ;_, for each cell in the hydra is like an amoeba, 
— being a bit of nucleated protoplasm, — and nour- 
ishes itself and multiplies itself in just the same 
way. Only the cells are associated so that, as a 
whole, they form an animal body, and, acting in 
correlation, produce movements, etc., which, as 
belonging to the cells in toto, we regard as the life- 
phenomena of the individual animal. Now this is 
the conception we should have of any animal body, 
no matter how high in organization it may be. Its 
ultimate structural and functional units are amceba- 
like cells; these are disposed in groups possessing 
some distinctive active power dependent on the 
correlated action of the constituent cells ; these 
groups, or tissues, are organized into a body, exhib- 
iting in their united action phenomena referred to 
the animal as an individual being. 

We may now pass to a study of a representative 
of the third division of the animal kingdom, Ver- 
mes, taking for our purpose the common earth- 
worm, more familiarly known as the "fish-worm," 
and scientifically as Lumhricus agricola. The gen- 
eral features of the body, looked at from the outside, 
that require notice are : i, the elongated cylindrical 
form ; 2, the bilateral symmetry, or two-sidedness 
of the body as a whole; 3, its segmented, or ringed 
structure; 4, the presence of a head-end and a tail- 
end (though poorly differentiated) ; and 5, a dorsal 
(back) and ventral (belly) aspect to the body. 

Let it now be asked. What is the significance of 
these several bodily features of the earthworm } 
Are we able to give any explanation of them — that 
is to say, to show that they were produced by natu- 
ral causes.' As regards i, it is obvious at once that 
the form of the body is in adaptation to its manner 
of life — its habit of dwelling in burrows in the 
ground. And anyone who stops to think of the 
matter will see clearly that an adaptation to physi- 
cal surroundings, or environment, is evinced in the 
case of every species of animals. Without under- 
taking the discussion of one of the deepest questions 
of the philosophy of biology, it need only be said 
tliat it is the general opinion that adaptation has 
come about in a natural way, according to physical 
and biological laws more or less known to us. We 
shall not err if we think of the body of an animal 
as somewhat plastic, — capable of being modified by 
physical and other conditions,— and so gradually 
acquiring fitness, or adaptation, to its surroundings. 
If we admit this principle, then it is clear that the 
explanation of 2 is simply in the fact that the right 
and left sides of the body are exposed to the same 
physical conditions ; and in regard to 5, that the 
upper and lower surfaces have different physical 

Concerning 3, it is evident that it is a feature of a 

different nature, and does not admit of a like expla- 
nation. In regard to the ringed structure of the 
earthworm, it is to be observed — as can be shown bv 
dissection — that it relates to the internal structure of 
the body as well as the external. The constrictions 
seen in the skin on the outside are continuous with 
membranous partitions within, separating the cav- 
ity of the body into as many chambers. Moreover, 
it must be considered that in this structural feature 
the earthworm agrees with the members of the 
worm group generally, as also with other classes of 
animals — as centipedes, insects in the larval stage, 
etc. Segmentation of the body in the earthworm is 
thus not a feature peculiar — or in any sense acci- 
dental — to it, but decidedly of a generic nature. 
The explanation, therefore, is to be sought among 
the fundamental principles of morphology, or form, 
in organic nature. And the suggestion offered is 
that it is an instance of that principle of repetition 
of like parts, running through the whole range of 
plant life, and appearing in many groups of ani- 
mals. Now, among plants, part is added to part by 
process of budding; the stem buds forth branches, 
the branch twigs, and the twig leaves. Multiplica- 
tion of parts by budding is also characteristic of 
many of the lower orders of animals — as corals, 
hydroids, etc. The conclusion pointed to is that 
the rings of the earthworm represent repetition of 
like parts produced by budding. 

We have yet to consider 4; but it can only be said 
that the slight differentiation into head-end and tail- 
end seen in the earthworm is, possibly, to be as- 
cribed to the former being used more than the 
latter, occasioning a development of sensitiveness 
in the skin. Of course this does not explain why 
the anterior end hegan, to be used more than the 
posterior. We may note further, in this connection, 
that the two ends of the body are not greatly differ- 
ent in structure, and that the worm crawls about 
equally well with either end forward. But experi- 
ments show that the anterior end is more sensitive 
to touch than the posterior, and, what is much 
more significant, that it is sensiti e to light impres- 
sions. Moreover, in internal struccure the head-end 
is distinctly different from the tail-end. 

On tlie dorsal aspect of the body a dark line may 
be seen through the skin. This is the intestine, a 
part of the alimentary tube which extends through 
the body, beginning with the mouth in the first 
segment, and ending with an anal opening in the 
last. If the body of the worm be cut across, and 
the section examined, it will be seen that the ali- 
mentary tube lies within the tube formed bv the 
walls of the body, the space between being the 
body-cavity. Thus in the earthworm the alimen- 
tary, or digestive, cavity is entirely separate from the 
general cavity of the body. It will be remembered 
that in the hydra these two are united — that there is 
but one cavity, communicating with the outer world 
by the mouth alone. We see, then, the great ad- 
vance in structure of the earthworm over the hydra. 
The complete separation of the digestive tract from 
the general body-cavity is preserved in all animals, 
from the worms to mammals. 

A faint red line may also be seen through the 
skin on the dorsal side of the body. This is a 
blood-vessel, and in a large worm it m.ay readily be 
seen to pulsate. What occurs is simply the alter- 
nate expansion and contraction of the vessel, by 
which the blood is drawn in from behind and pro- 
pelled forwards. This contractile portion of the 
blood-vessel is thus analogous to the heart of the 
higher animals. 

The earthworm has a well-developed nervous s3-,s- 
tem. It consists of a double chain of ganglia lying 
on the ventral side of the body, except the most ■ 
anterior ganglion, wiiich is on the dorsal side, in 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 



the third or fourth segment of the head, and is con- 
nected with the first ventral ganglion hy a nerve- 
collar surrounding the gullet. Anyone who will 
dissect an earthworm, rendering it insensible hy 
placing it in a closed jar containing a few drops of 
chloroform, can easily trace out the nervous system. 
It is an interesting question whether the dorsal 
ganglion should not be regarded as homologous to 
the brain of higher animals. 

It is seen that the earthworm has quite a high 
degree of organization. It possesses the same sys- 
tems, or sets of organs or tissues, that the highest 
animals do. We will close our study by considering 
the functions of that one of these systems which 
most allies the earthworm with animals higher in 
the scale of life, viz., the nervous system. 

If a worm lying quietly in its retreat be suddenly 
disturbed, as by smartly touching any part of its 
skin, it quickly moves away — scampering, as it 
were, into its burrow. This is an instance of phy- 
siological reflex action, and proves that the ganglia 
just referred to are nerve-centers. The^stimulus 
applied to the skin manifests itself in muscular con- 
tractions, and there is no reason to doubt that the 
physiological process is the same as that by which 
physical contacts cause muscular actions in our own 
bodies — as when one draws away his hand from 
contact with a hot bodv. 

The same experiment proves that the earthworm 
has the sense of touch. It has already been said 
that it has the sense of sight; this is proved by the 
fact that when a bright light is suddenly flashed 
upon the head-end o( the body, the worm quickly 
hies away. As to the sense of hearing, there is no 
reason for thinking they possess it; all experiments 
go to show that they are quite deaf. But as to 
taste, the fact that they are sotnewhat fastidious in 
their 'selection of food — preferring the tender and 
succulent roots of certain plants — seems to leave no 
doubt that they possess this sense. The indications 
are that they also possess a faint sense of smell. 

Thus the earthworm has four of the five senses 
characteristic of the higher animals. And now a 
question of much interest arises. Has the worm 
not only senses, but also sensations f Does it have 
feeiinrjs of touch, sight, etc. > The wigglings of the 
worm, when pierced by the sharp hock, would seem 
to indicate clearly that they are capable of pain. 
Yet it is impossible for us to know that they have 
sensations at all ; the phenomena may be purely 
those of reflex action. All analogy, however, sup- 
ports the aflirmative view of this question. If we 
thus conclude that the earthworm has sensations, 
then, since sensations are states of consciousness, 
we must ascribe to this animal a low order of mind. 

Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. 

[SpecL-illy Observed for Popular Science News.] 


Average Thermometer. 




At 7 A. M 

At 2 P. M 

At 9 P. M 

Whole Month .... 
Second Average . . . 









Last ao Marches . . . 
Second Average . . . 


in 187a. 

39-18' j 
in ,878. i 


The lowest point reached by the mercury the last 
month, at the hours of observation, was 4°, on the 
7th, and this was also the coldest da^', with an aver- 
age of 12°. The first week, "omitting the first day, 
averaged only 21.43°. The highest point was 60°, 
on the 13th, and this, with the 12th, were the warm- 

est days, averaging very nearly the same tempera- 
ture — 52.5°. The entire month wa? less than one 
degree above the average of March for the last 
twenty years, as shown by the above table, and yet 
it was below the average temperature of the entire 
last winter, which was 33 90° (reported by mistake, 


The face of the sky, in 93 observations, gave 49 
fair, 6 cloudy, 19 overcast, 1 1 rainy, and 8 snowy,— 
a percentage of 52.7 fair. The average fair for the 
last twenty Marches has been only 50, with extremes 
of 33-3 in iSSi, and 63.4 in 1883. A fog came on in 
the afternoon of the nth, and continued on the fol- 
lowing morning. The 22d was also foggy. We had 
a few fine days, and, though more than half the 
observations were fair, yet unusual storm after 
storm followed with frequency and power, as will 
appear under the following head of 


This has been abundant the past month, both in 
the form of snow and rain. The amount, including 
31 inches of melted snow, was 9.90 inches, — nearly 
equal to the amount of the entire past winter, 9.97 
inches. The average for the last twenty-two 
Marches has been 5.52 inches, with extremes of 
i.iS in 1885, and 10.22 in 1877. Thus March con- 
tinues without a rival as the banner month for the 
largest amount of precipitation. The amount of 
snowfall the past month was more than double that 
of the entire last winter. About 14 inches fell on 
the 2d and 3d. My snow-gague holds 12 inches, 
but was overflowing on the morning of the 3d. 
Seven inches more fell on the 6th, and we had fine 
sleighing for seven or eight days. Warm days and 
rain had removed all this snow by the 14th. On the 
15th 3 inches of snow fell, with 7 more on the 19th, 
but it soon disappeared, and the ground remained 
bare most of the month. On the evening of the 
zzd there was a heavy shower, with thunder and 
sharp lightning, when 2 86 inches of rain fell, leav- 
ing a trace of snow in the morning. On three 
other occasions the amount of rain and melted snow 
varied from 1.30 to i 85 inches. So much rain and 
snow, often mingled, gave plenty of slush and 
muddy travelling, with a raw atmosphere. Rain or 
snow fell at the hour of 19 observations. 


The average pressure the last month was 29 941 
inches, with extremes of 29.44 "" the i6th, and 3040 
on the 25th,— a range of .96 inch. The average for 
the last seventeen Marches has been 29. 885, with ex- 
tremes of 29.639 in 1S81, and 29991 in 18S2,— a 
range of .352 inch. The sum of the daily varia- 
tions was 6.66 inches, giving a mean daily move- 
ment of .215 inch, while this average the last 
seventeen Marches has been .237, with extremes of 
.189 and .282. The largest daily movements were 
.45 on the 25th and .39 on the 23d. 


The average direction of the wind the past month 
was W. 32'J 41' N., or nearly W. N. W., which was 
very nearly the average of the last twenty-one 
Marches, viz., W. 32° 55' N. The extremes have 
been W. 1° 35' N. in 1879, and E. 87° 30' N. in 1870, 
—a range of 90° 55', or full eight points of the com- 


with that of the last winter; gathered from the 
Bulletins of the New England Meteorological Society. 
The table below may need some explanation. 
Under "No." is given first the number of reports 
from observers in each State to find the average or 
mean temperature of February and the extremes, as 

given on the same horizontal line; under this is 
given the number of reports for the three winter 
months combined, from which is found the mean 
temperature of the winter of 1889-90, with extremes 
of the highest and lowest winter month reported in 
each State. The same arrangement is continued 
under precipitation, as given in inches. 







M ^ 



« pi 





a. to 


M 6 

« d 

s _ 


CO r^ 


rh (5, 


IN -N 







CO »o 









00 GO 



06 W 


■2 3- 







00 t^ 


CO r^ 












■ POrO 











^ 2-^ 

= s 


According to the above-named authority, I also 
learn that the average temperature of the winters in 
New England was 25.37°, as found by combining 
twenty-five stations, having a record of more than 
ten years; while that of the last winter was 31°— an 
excess above the average of 5 63°. The average at 
Natick the last twenty years was 26.41°; that of last 
winter 33.9 — an excess of 7. 49°. 

From the same source, I learn that the average 
precipitation of the winters in New England, hav- 
ing a similar record at over thirty stations, was 
n.28 inches, — showing a deficiency of 1.39 inches. 
The average at Natick in twenty-two years is 13.50 
inches, — a like deficiency of 3.53 inches. 

By further examination of this table, we may' 
learn that each of the six States, and so of all New 
England, had a higher temperature in the winter 
that that of a very warm February ; and, if we may 
judge by the temperature of the present March in 
Natick, the winter was warmer than an average 
March,— all showing that the temperature of the 
last winter was truly very remarkable. 

It will be further seen that the precipitation was 
greatest in the more northern sections of New Eng- 
land, with a gradual decrease toward the southern. 

D. W. 

Natick, April 5, 1S90. 

Errata. — In the table on page 59, last line but one, 
for 37.23° read 33.90°; and in the last line, for 
26.57° read 26.40°, for 37.23° read 3390°, and for 
f5.3S" read 12.05°. 

[Specially Computed for Popular Science News.] 


MAY, 1S90. 
Mercury is in fine position for observation dur- 
ing the first half of the month, when the best 
opportunity of the whole year will be aftbrded. It 
is an evening star, and comes to greatest eastern 
elongation on the morning of May 6. At that time 
it is also several degrees north of the sun, and 
remains above the horizon for an hour and a half or 
more after sunset. It may probably be seen on any 
clear evening during the first half of the month, 
low down in the northwestern sky during th& 



[May, 1S90. 

twilight. During llie latter half of the month it 
rapidly approaches the sun, andpasses inferior con- 
junction at midnight on May 29. Venus is also an 
evening star, and is getting far enough away from 
the sun to be easily seen. During the first half of 
the month it is very near Mercury ; at the beginning 
of the month about 2° south and 2° west, or nearly 
vertically below as they are setting. Both are then 
moving eastward, but Venus is moving faster. 
Their time of nearest approach is the morning of 
May 10, when Venus is rather less than 2° south of 
Mercury. By May 15, Venus will have receded to 
about 4° east of Mercury, and will be above and 
to the left as they are seen soon after sunset. Mars 
rises in the southeast a little before lo P. M. on 
May I, and at about 7 P. M. on May 31. It is in 
the constellation Scorpius, and is retrograding rap- 
idly. It is about 4° north of the bright red first 
magnitude star Aiitares (Alpha Scorpii), and during 
the month moves from a position 5*^ east of the star 
to a point 3° west. It comes to opposition on May 
27, — that is, the earth lies between it and the sun, — 
but, on account of the eccentricity of its orbit, it 
does not attain its nearest approach to the earth 
until June 4, soon after midnight. Our distance 
from the planet is then about 45,000,000 miles. The 
next opposition, in 1S92, will be much more favora- 
ble than this, as the earth will then be several mil- 
lion miles nearer the planet than it will be at this 
one, perihelion and opposition of the planet being 
much nearer. However, this opposition will be bet- 
ter than the average. Jupiter rises at about 1.30 A. M. 
at the beginning of the month, and at about 11.30 
P. M. at the end. It is in the constellation Capri- 
cornus, and moves slowly eastward during the 
month until the last day, when it becomes station- 
ary. Saturn is in good place for observation in the 
western sky during the evening. It crosses the 
meridian, about two-thirds of the way to the zenith, 
at about sunset on May i, and two hours earlier on 
May 31. It is still in the constellation Leo, near its 
brightest star, Regulus {Alpha Leonis), a little to 
the north. It moves slowly eastward, less than 1°, 
during the month, and crosses the handle of the 
Sickle between Regulus and Eta Leonis. It is in 
quadrature with the sun on the morning of May 18. 
Uranus is in the constellation Virgo, and passes the 
meridian at about 11 P. M. on May i, and at about 
9 P. M. on May 31, about halfway irom horizon to 
zenith. At the beginning of the month it is rather 
less than 2° north and 3° east of the first magnitude 
star Spica (Alpha Virginis), and during the month 
moves about 1° toward the star.. Neptune is too 
near the sun to be seen, and is in conjunction on the 
morning of May 25. 

The Constellations. — The positions given hold 
good for latitudes differing not many degrees from 
40° north, and for 10 P. M. on May i, 9 P. M. on 
May 16, and 8 P. M. on May 31. Canes Venatici is 
in the zenith. To the south, on the meridian, are 
Coma Berenices, Virgo, and Corvus. A few of tl^e 
most northerly stars of Centaurus are on the south 
horizon. In the southeast is Libra, and below it, 
just rising, is Scorpius. Bootes is high up, east of 
the zenith, and below it are Hercules and Ophiu- 
chus. Lyra and Cygnus are low down in the north- 
east. The principal stars of Draco are above, at 
about the same altitude as the pole star. Cassiopeia 
is on the north horizon. Perseus and Auriga are 
setting in the- northwest. Ursa Major is high up, 
near the zenith, most of the stars being west of the 
meridian. Gemini is near the western horizon. 
Cancer and Leo follow, above, to the left. Canis 
Minor is below Cancer, near the southwest horizon. 


Lake Forest, III., April 5, 1890. 


firie/ commnnirationa upon suhjecta of ncientijlc interest 
toill be welcomed fruin aity quarter. The editors (Jo not veces- 
sarilji indorse alt views and statements presented by their 

Editor of Popular Science News: 

The Druggist's Bulletin for January, iSgo, con- 
tains a review by Dr. Henry H. Rusby of my article 
on " Coco, Cacao, and Coca" which appeared in the 
Popular Science News for September and Octo- 
ber, 1889. As Dr. Rusby here takes occasion to 
give some notes upon the subject, based upon his 
own observations in South America, I have pre- 
pared the following summary of his remarks, believ- 
ing that the readers of the News would be glad of 
additional information coming from one so qualified 
to speak on these matters. 

Apropos of the origin of the word "coco" he 
says: "And this reminds us that all through Cen- 
tral South America, where the Cocos nncifera is 
unkriown, all kinds of large shell fruits, like the 
case of the Brazil nut and the monkey-pot, are 
called 'cocos.' The savage tribes decorate their 
temples with pictures in feathers of these fruits, and 
to them also the name 'cocos' is applied. While it 
is probable that this term was introduced by the 
Spaniards, and applied by them to these native 
fruits because of their similarity to the true cocos, 
yet it is not impossible that the name is native. A 
strikingly similar word is 'coto,' applied to the large 
red howling monkey, because of the large spherical 
cartilage in his throat, which gives him the appear- 
ance of having a goitre, or 'coto.' The same term 
is applied to the cartilage itself." 

In speaking of the cacao, Dr. Rusby calls atten- 
tion to the fact that the chocolate family contains 
also the kola-nut (Cola acuminata, R. Br.), which, 
although known to but few besides botanists and 
pharmacists in this country, "is to vast tribes of 
Africans as important, almost, as tobacco or coffee 
are to us, or certainly as the mate to the Para- 
guayan, or the coca to the Bolivian." It may be of 
interest to add that this plant, whose seeds are so 
highly valued as a condiment by the native tribes of 
Guinea and their descendants in South America, 
contains a considerable quantity of the alkaloid 
theine. The reviewer continues: "Mr. Sargent's 
reference to the occurrence of this tree [cacao] jn a 
wild state in the Amazonian forests, recalls vividly 
a personal experience of the writer, when he was 
once lost for an entire day in a vast forest, whose 
smaller trees were mostly, of this species. Qiiite a 
number of species of theobroma, we may mention, 
occur wild in Brazil, and one which we encountered 
produces white seeds. While on this subject, we 
will put in a plea for the correct pronunciation of 
this word, which is very nearly ca-cow." 

Dr. Rusby strongly dissents from the generally 
accepted view (adopted in my paper) that it is the 
alkaloids contained in cacao and coco which have 
chiefly recommended these plants to man. His 
conclusions, based upon a long study of the coca- 
plant, are to the effect that the Indian does not 
value the coca-leaf chiefly for its cocaine, but for 
other volatile constituents; for he habitually rejects 
leaves which are not sufficiently fresh or well pre- 
served, although their percentage of cocaine may be 
very slightly or not at all reduced. We might also 
correct the statement that the leaves are packed as 
soon as dried. They ordinarily, if not invariably, 
lie for two or three days in the coca-house, in order 
to go through the process of ' sweating,' before it is 
considered safe to pack them." 

Yours very truly, 

Frkd'k LeRoy Sargent. 

Editor of Popular Science News: 

Among the many instructive things contained in 
your issue of February, my attention was called to 
the article by H. M. Whelpley, Ph. G., on the Lep- 
tus irriians. -The claim is there made that "this 
human parasite is confined to the Mississippi Val- 
ley." I would beg leave to state that I have met 
with it in the sandy scrubs of New Jersey in great 
abundance and in unmeasured voracity. Prof. 
Whelpley's description of the insect and its habits 
is quite in accordance with my observations made 
in 1S65. Qiiite a number of unacclimated persons 
suffered to an extent requiring medical care, as the 
lower limbs were affected with an erysipelatous 
eruption of many days' duration. The most efti- 
cient means of help was in removal by point of 
needle or knife, and the next was in the free use of ' 
an ointment of lard, kerosene, and salt. 



Essays of an Americanist, by Daniel G. I?rinton, 
M. D. Published by Porter ,.^- Coates, Philadel- 

The mysterious pre-historic history of our own 
country is a most interesting subject," and is all th^ - 
more fascinating on account of the very little that 
is actually known about it. The barbarous soldiers 
in the armies of the early Spanish conquerors, and 
the bigoted priests who followed them, seem to have 
systematically set about destroying all books and 
records which could throw any light upon the origin 
of those civilized or, at least, semi-civilized peoples 
who formerly occupied South and Central America, 
Mexico, and the United States. In this collection 
of essays, by one of the highest authorities on 
American arch;eology, there is much valuable infor- 
mation about the ancient Aztecs, Toltecs, and 
Mayas, the Mound Builders, and so-called American 
Indians, and, in fact, all the diflerent races who are 
supposed to have formerly inhabited the western 
hemisphere. Particular attention is given to Amer- 
ican languages, and the mysterious picture-writings 
and hieroglyphics of Mexico and Central America, 
some of which are translated, and the probable 
meaning of others discussed in a way which will 
undoubtedly throw much light upon their future 
decipherment. We have read this book with ab- 
sorbing interest, and can cordially recommend it, 
either to the general reader, or to the professional 
student of archicology and comparative philology. 

Fort Ancient, by Warren K. Moorehead. Published 
by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. Price, 

Another valuable work which may well be read in 
connection with that noticed above, is Mr. Moore- 
head's descrii)tion of Fort Ancient — one of the old- 
est and best preserved monuments of the Mound 
Builders of the Ohio Valley.- The fort has been 
carefully surveyed, excavations made at promising 
points, and an immense amoimt of information 
obtained regarding the builders, date of erection, 
and probable uses of the structure. Mr. Moore- 
head considers it to be not over nine hundred years 
old, and, in his own words, "Fort Ancient is a 
defensive earthwork, used at times as a refuge by 
some large tribe of Indians; and at intervals there 
was a large village situated within its walls. In 
the inclosure ha\e been found pottery fragments, 
bones, arrow-heads, flint chips, burnt stones, ashes, 
etc. In time of peace the tribe, numbering about 
30,000, spread out in the contiguous river valleys. 
Fort Ancient was the citadel to which they could 
fall back in case of extreme danger. It possesses 
nothing of a religious nature, nor anything emblem- 
atic, like the Serpent Mound and the Opossum 
Effigy." The work is fully illustrated by photo- 
engravings made from views taken on the .spot, and 
no one interested in that mysterious people, the 
Mound Builders, should fail to read it. 

Pamphlets, etc., received: Remarks upon Extinct 
Mammals of the United States, by Dr. R. W. Shu- 
feldt; The Cause of Death from Chloroform, by H. 
C. Wood, M. n., and. H. A. Hare, M.'D. ; second 
supplement to Creation, by Wni. Andrew; The Cra- 
dle of the Semites, by Daniel G. Brinton, M. D., 
Media, Penn. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 5.] 



n^edicliie smd Pljariiiacy. 


Nothing indicates more clearly the modern 
progress of medicine than the disappearance 
of the bulky and disagreeable boluses, pow- 
ders, draughts, and mixtures which the phy- 
sicians of former times administered to their 
patients, — in many cases, with but little 
ctlect, except to put an additional burden 
upon an already wearied and overloaded 
stomach. The homeopathic physicians have, 
at least, shown that excessive medication is 
unnecessary, and that no medication at all 
will result in an equal number of cures in a 
great majority of cases, while the present 
tendency of all schools of medicine is to 
limit their prescriptions, both in number and 
quantity, and place more reliance upon 
hygienic and sanitary precautions, combined 
with watchful and experienced nursing and 

The philosophy of prescribing what are 
popularly known as "medicines" is really a 
\ ery simple matter. It is a well-known fact 
that certain substances, when taken into the 
system, produce certain physiological eftects. 
Thus, opium and its alkaloids produce sleep, 
i|)ecac causes vomiting, quinine is found to 
have a remarkable power of controlling inter- 
mittent fevers, and so on through the list. 
There is really no ditierence between a medi- 
cine and a poison, except in the violence of 
its action ; and, in fact, some of the most 
powerful poisons are found to be valuable 
medicinal agents when administered in 
minute doses. The scientific physician, 
tiierefore, will not attempt to "cure" a 
disease by any specific remedy, but will 
endeavor to fully understand the cause and 
nature of the abnormal physiological action 
which is taking place in the system of his 
patient. As the action of medicines is very 
variable in difierent persons, and under difl'er- 
ent conditions of the disease, the necessity of 
skillful medical attendance, and the follv of 
depending upon the various widely-advertised 
|)atent medicines, is evident. 

To a certain extent, the healing art must be 
empirical. Not until we can comprehend the 
actual nature of the vital processes, can a 
truly scientific system of medicine be formu- 
lated ; and it is very doubtfid if we ever 
arrive at that point. But the conscientious 
physician, no matter to what school he be- 
longs, will use whatever remedy he may con- 
sider best adapted- to the particular case 
before him. The homeopath has as perfect a 
right to adminrster a solution containing an 
• infinitesimal fraction of a grain of common 
salt, in the belief that it will produce definite 
physiological efiects, as the allopath has to 
administer a draught of "salts and senna." 
It is a matter of judgment and experience, 
i and our issue with the homeopath is not that 

his theories are unphilosophical, but that 
they are not borne out by practical experi- 

So in the case of the practitioners of the 
less reputable systems of so-called medicine 
— the faith and mind healers, the magnetizers 
and mesmerists, and the compounders of the 
thousand and one absolute specifics for every 
disease, who monopolize so large a space in 
the advertising columns of the daily press. 
They are held to be unworthy of confidence, 
simply because the claims they make are not 
borne out by facts. Innumerable persons 
believe themselves to have been cured by 
these agencies, when, in fact, they have got 
well in spite of them, or because they wei'e 
so utterly ineffective that they allowed the 
healing power of Nature to work unhindered. 
The natural tendency of most diseases is to 
recovery, and nothing is more natural than to 
attribute the cure to the particular drug or 
treatment which has been administered. If 
a man is so constituted mentally as to really 
believe that a cancer, for instance, can be 
cured by faith or will power, there is nothing 
left to do but to leave him to enjoy his belief, 
until he is restored to sanity again. 

No physician can afibrd to confine himself 
to any "system" as popularly understood. 
His own experience and that of his predeces- 
sors will show him what results may be 
expected from the "various medicinal sub- 
stances, and the highest skill of his art will 
lie in searching out the true cause of the 
abnormal condition of his patients, and, as 
far as it lies in his power, meeting these con- 
ditions with such remedies as may seem best 
fitted to aid Nature in causing the disturbed 
vital processes to operate with their accus- 
tomed regularity and precision. 

fOriginal in Popular Science iVewa.J 
The term "catarrh," which was formerly much 
employed, has of late years fallen into much disuse 
in technical medicine, on account of the extreme 
vagueness of its meaning. It is a term derived 
from the Greek, and literally means "to flow 
down," and has always been rather the name of 
a symptom which characterizes various diseases 
than a term applying to any properly recognized 
and understood lesions. It thus happened that 
before our present method of examining the nasal 
cavities was introduced, all conditions of the nose 
accompanied by a discharge — either through the 
anterior nares or through the posterior nares — were 
classed under the general, vague, though convenient 
term, "catarrh." The cause of the discharge was 
not taken into account, and, regardless of whether 
it was due to the existence of nasal tumors, or to a 
foreign body in the passages, or caused by a de- 
flected, eroded, or ulcerated septum, or a projecting 
portion of bone, — the simple fact that there was a 
discharge gave the name, and the routine treatment 
by salves, snufls, powders, and douches was blindly 
resorted to, without producing any good effects in 
the majority of cases; and hence it is that the edict 
has gone foplh that nasal catarrh is incurable. The 
conditions just enumerated require for their deter- 

mination careful examination, and for their suc- 
cessful treatment the intervention of intra-nasal 
surgery; and, since it is impossible for patients to 
make rhinoscopic examinations of their own nasal 
passages, and since the practice of intra-nasal sur- 
gery is usually without the ken of the general prac- 
titioner of medicine,. — as it involves the use of 
expensive apparatus and a dexterity of manipula- 
tion possessed only by those who have had special 
training in this line of work, — in all cases where 
any of these conditions are suspected to exist, the 
patient should consult those who by opportunity 
and special study have acquired the right to denom- 
inate themselves specialists. 

But a catarrh, or discharge from the nasal pas- 
sages, may occur which is not dependent upon any 
of the causes already enumerated, but which is due 
to an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the 
nose, which inflammation is properly called rhinitis. 
In the early stages these cases are readily amenable 
to treatment, but when a succession of attacks of 
this benign form occurs and proper treatment is 
neglected, a chronic inflammation of the nasal 
mucous membrane is quite likely to be occasioned, 
the treatment of which is more difficult and tedious. 
In all cases of rhinitis, the patients will make the 
diagnosis of " catarrh," and will very often devise 
and apply their own methods of treatment; and 
hence it is highly proper that even if they have not 
a sufticient knowledge of the nature of the aiTection, 
and of the remedies which they employ, to cure their 
"catarrh," that they should, at least, be warned 
against the employment of means which are not 
only worthless in curing the disease, but which are 
capable of doing much injury to the delicately con- 
structed nasal cavities. 

An annoying discharge from the nasal passages 
is by no means an uncommon complaint, and the 
field is a rich one for the charlatan, and consequently 
the country is flooded with advertisements, pam- 
phlets, and books relating to the cure of nasal 
catarrh. From these sources, patients are not 
infrequently led to believe that the simple catarrh 
from which they are suffering is a more ominous 
and perhaps malignant disease, and they invest in 
the "sure cures," "catarrh snuffs," and "nasal 
douches" which crowd the counters of ewery drug 

store, and which do vastly more harm than good 

either by direct effect, or, being inert, by allowing 
time to effect structural changes in the nasal cavi- 
ties. There is one method of treatment, very exten- 
sively employed by the laity, and even recommended 
to patients by not a kvi practicing physicians, which 
is probably productive of more harm than all the 
other means employed for the cure of nasal catarrh, 
viz. : syringing the nasal passages by means of the 
nasal douche. A description of the nasal douche 
would be superfluous, as it is a comparatively well- 
known article, being found in almost every house- 
hold repertory. By means of this instrument lari'e 
quantities of fluid — usually a strong saline solution, 
r — are forced through the nasal passages under con- 
siderable pressure. Now, in the first place, the 
nasal passages were not intended to be conduits for 
any fluid whatever, and although absolute cleanli- 
ness of the parts involved is an essential factor in 
the treatment of nasal catarrh, nevertheless, no 
tiasal douche, nor any number of nasal douches, ever 
cured a single case of nasal catarrh. VVlien we con- 
sider that the air passages are lined throughout 
by an exceedingly delicate nnicous membrane, it is 
very easy to conceive that a strong saline solution 
passed over this delicate membrane under high 
pressure, can become an efficient factor in the prop- 
agation, if not in the causation, of catarrhal rhini- 
tis, and I have met with cases in which I firmly 
believe that a nasal catarrh was excited by the use 


[May, 1890. 

of the napal tlouclie. Such treatment is not medi- 
cation —it is initation. It has been frequently 
shown that the long continued use of the nasal 
douche is quite certain to cause a flabby, relaxed, 
and supersensitive condition of the mucous mem- 
brane lining the nasal foss;v, thus rendering the 
patient more liable to attacks of acute rhinitis when 
subjected to the slightest exciting causes— as, for 
example, to sudden atmospheric changes. Another 
great danger in the use of the nasal douche is the 
possibility of producing serious aural complications. 
If, from any cause, the fluid passed from the douche 
into the nares found entrance into the Eustachian 
tubes,— which open into the pharynx, and through 
which the mucous membrane of the nose is contin- 
uous with that of the ear, — an inflammation of the 
middle ear would be likely to supervene; and hence 
it is that most aurists have long condemned the" use 
of the nasal douche. The use of this instrument 
should, therefore, be entirely abandoned, and al- 
though it may, apparently, ameliorate distressing 
symptoms for a time, by securing a certain amount 
of cleanliness, even these apparent good effects 
ultimately fail. 

What, then, shall be done for the relief and cure 
of nasal catarrh ? The treatment varies with the 
form of rhinitis with which we have to deal. Acute 
catarrhal rhinitis — otherwise known as "coryza," 
or "cold in the head" — is probably the most com- 
mon form, and is quite easily dealt with. It is 
caused by the sudden cooling of any part of the 
t)ody, as may be effected by getting the feet wet, or 
by a draught of air playing upon the neck or back; 
it may also be produced by inhaling irritating sub- 
stances, and sometimes appears in the early part of 
an attack of acute infectious disease. The symp- 
toms are pronounced : tlie mucous membrane be- 
comes red, swollen, and covered with a mucous 
secretion, whicii discharges itself from the anterior 
and posterior nares ; there is more or less difficulty 
in breathing through the nose, on account of partial 
or complete occlusion of the air passages, caused by 
infiltration and swelling of the mucous membrane; 
sneezing occurs, and not infrequently seems to give 
temporary relief. The catarrhal symptoms are 
usually very annoying; there may be some febrile 
movement. A patient usually recovers from an 
ordinarv attack of acute coryza in from four to six 
days. The treatment is very simple. Free purga- 
tion and sweating may cut short an attack, and to 
this end a full dose of Epsom or Rochelle salts 
should be administered, and warm drinks — such as 
hot lemonade — should be given. The inlialation of 
camphorated vapor will give great relief, diminish- 
ing the catarrh and restoring nasal breathing by 
reducing the congestion of the mucous membrane. 
It is accomplished thus : Into a suitable vessel — a 
small tin pail answering very well — put a pint of 
boiling water, and add a teaspoon ful or so of pow- 
dered camphor. Now, placing the head over the 
vessel and a short distance above it, inclose both 
head and vessel in a piece of muslin or towel, and 
inhale the vapor through the nose. Continue the 
inhalation a few minutes, and repeat it again during 
the day. Exposure to draughts of air and changes 
of temperature is to be carefully avoided. 

Chronic' nasal catarrh (chronic rhinitis) is also a 
cominon complaint, and exists in four principal 
varieties, or stages : i, simple, uncomplicated, 
chronic rhinitis; 2, hypertrophic rhinitis; 3, atrophic 
rhinitis; and 4, oza'na, or ulcerative rhinitis. The 
treatment of all these forms, excepting the first, 
is not only tedious, but involves the employ- 
ment of special procedures, and hence we may dis- 
miss them with a word. A neglected uncomplicated 
chronic catarrh usually passes on to hypertrophy of 
the mucou* membrane and tubmucout tiiiuet, and 

becomes an example of the second type of chronic 
rhinitis. It may then progress through further 
structural changes, with dissolution of the parts 
involved, and is then known as atrophic rliinitis. 
Oziena is usually of specific origin, but may arise 
from long-existing chronic catarrh, it following the 
stage of atrophy in the regular order of succession. 
It is characterized by a fetid discharge and an habit- 
ual, oftensive odor from the nose. 

Let us now briefly consider the remedial treat- 
ment of simple chronic rhinitis. The first step is 
thorough preliminary cleansing of the nasal pas- 
sages. In most cases of simple rhinitis, the patient 
can accomplish this by blowing his nose, unaided 
by any form of artificial apparatus. But in the 
exceptional cases, where crusts have formed which 
cannot be thus dislodged, the nasal spray apparatus 
of Lefterts (manufactured by the Davidson Rubber 
Company) is the best means we have to aid in the 
accomplishing of this eftect. For home treatment, 
however, merely snuffing up small quantities of 
warm water, softened by the addition of a small 
quantity of borax, from the "iiand, into one nostril 
and then into the other, — the patient forcibly blow- 
ing it out, — will effectually cleanse the nose for 
comfort and breathing purposes, and will quite 
nicely prepare the way for subsequent medication. 
The best method of medication is the use of a 
proper solution sprayed through the posterior nares 
by means of the compressed air apparatus of the 
specialist. But a very fair substitute for this appa- 
ratus is to be found in the hand-bulb atomizer, 
(preferably the double bulb variety, in order that a 
continuous spray can be produced), by means of 
which a medicated spray can be thrown by the 
patient, through the anterior nares, and hence is to 
be supplied with a proper nozzle, or "tip," which 
shall fit nicely the anterior nasal orifice. The solu- 
tion employed should be of a mild resolvent or 
astringent nature, and, if the patient is to apply it 
himself, a solution of sulphate of zinc, — made by 
dissolving from five to ten grains of the powder in 
an ounce of pure water, — or a solution of tannic 
acid, — made in a similar manner,— will probably 
give the best results. Of these solutions, only a 
small quantity should be sprayed into the nasal 
cavities, once or twice a day, as the intention is to 
spray, and not to flood, the nasal membrane. In- 
halations are not usually to be depended upon for 
the cure of chronic nasal catarrh, but there is one 
inhalation which is to be recommended as being of 
special value in this complaint, both for relieving 
the prominent symptoms and for aiding materially 
in the cure of the disease. It consists in adding to 
a pint of boiling water a mixture of ten drops of 
carbolic acid and forty drops of tincture of iodine, 
and inhaling the vapor in a manner already de- 
scribed. A change of air and locality often pro- 
duces a beneficial effect upon nasal catarrh — dry, 
elevated regions being the most favorable. The 
patient's diet should be simple and moderate, 
though nourishing, and stimulants should be 

It should be well understood by patients, as well 
as physicians, that there is no royal road to the suc- 
cessful treatment of nasal catarrh, and yet the 
means herein described are not only simple and 
practical, but are rational and efficient for the cure 
of the conditions to which they have been stated to 

J. H. E. 

Two New Antipyretics will soon burst upon an 
astonished world, so far as lengthiness of name is 
concerned, at any rate ; acetylethylenphenylhydrazin 
and ethylenphenylhydrazin*uccinic acid ! 

[Original in Popular Science J^t-ws.j 


Artificial respiration has long been recom- 
mended in cases in which natural respiration, from 
any cause, fails, or — as in still-born children — has 
never been established. The causes which endanger 
life from asph^'xia are numerous — drowning, hang- 
ing, inhalation of various poisonous gases and 
vapors, ingestion of various drugs, etc. The num- 
ber of drugs which may fatally paralyze, or danger- 
ously affect, the respiratory center is by no means 
small, including, as it does, opium, chloral, hydro- 
cyanic acid, conium, and others. Fatal asphyxia- • 
tion, as everyone knows, occurs all too frequently — 
sometimes as a result of accident, sometimes of 
suicidal intent. No physician can long follow his 
profession without being brought face to face with 
one of those most distressing and extremely urgent 
cases, in which the patient — often from a condition 
of full health — is suddenly threatened with speedy 
dissolution, and all, to put it briefly, from want of 

The means of supplying the much-needed air 
have hitherto been all too imperfect. The various 
methods of "artificial respiration" of Sylvester, 
Hall, Howard, and others, while they have unques- 
tionably saved many lives, are, none of them, all 
that could be desired. They all depend so largely 
on the natural resiliency of the chest walls, — which, 
at best, cannot be made to effect any such inflation 
of the lungs as the asphyxiated condition of the 
body renders in the highest degree desirable, — the 
amount of air which these methods can be made to 
supply to the lungs, so far from being in that excess 
of the ordinary amount which the carbonic acid 
poisoning would "indicate" as the proper and only 
possible antidote to the poison, is less than the 
amount which the system calls for in health. 

Dr. George E. f^ll, of Buffalo, N. Y., devised a 
great improvement upon the above-mentioned meth- 
ods. His method consists in the performance of 
tracheotomy, and the insertion of a tube connected 
with a bellows. To him, it is claimed, is due the 
credit of demonstrating that air can be forced into 
the lungs without injury to them. Reports of his 
cases would go to show that many lives which could 
not have been saved by any of the other methods 
were saved by his "forced respiration." In one 
instance this was persisted in for more than twenty 
hours, with the result of saving a patient who must 
otherwise inevitably have perished. 

Dr. C. R. Vanderburg, lecturer on pathology. 
Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, while 
according praise without stint to Dr. Fell, was led 
to believe (see Medical Record, Feb. S, 1890) that 
even the latter's method might be improved upon. 
"Forced respiration," he avers, "excels, as a potent 
therapeutic agent, any discovered for centuries;" 
and, believing that its permanent place as a thera- 
peutic measure is assured, he has for some time bent 
his energies to perfecting a device which should be 
simple in construction, applicable to all cases, re- 
quiring no use of the knife, and, above all, capable 
of effecting a respiration as nearly as miglit be like 
the natural. Such an instrument he lias devised, 
and has used it with success in three cases of opium 
narcosis, two of which, but for this device, must 
certainly, he believes, have proved fatal. 

The instrument — "The Automatic Forced Respi- 
rator," as he styles it — consists of a heavy, flexible, 
rubber cup, fitting over mouth, nose, and chin, 
through which passes a brass tube, which connects 
with a bellows by a rubber tube five feet long. The 

V^OL. XXIV. No. 5.] 



rubber cup is provided with straps to Aisten it in 
place, or it may be retained in position by the 
hands. The cup for adults fits any adult face, (one 
is also made for children), and is made so nearly 
air-tight by slight pressure that the slight leakage 
tloes not interfere with perfect filling of the lungs. 
The brass tube contains two valves, which controfl 
automatically the inhaled and exhaled air, cflfecting 
the proper discharge of the latter, and securing a 
constant supply of air that is fresh for the former. 
The bellows has an adjustment by means of which 
the volume of air forced at each stroke may be regu- 
lated at the outset for each patient, in accordance 
with the capacity of his lungs. The instrument 
once in place, all that is required of the operator is 
to work the bellows at the desired rate of speed, the 
respirator automatically doing the rest. When 
necessary, one person alone may successfully oper- 
ate it. The instrument forces air into the lungs, 
whence, as soon as pressure on the bellows is 
discontinued, it is expired, as in natural respiration, 
by the resiliency of the chest walls, lungs, and dia- 
phragm. As in the natural process, expiration is — 
if so contradictory a phrase be permissible — a pas- 
.>-ive act. 

The respirator is applicable, so the inventor 
claims, in all cases in which artificial respiration is 
indicated. As yet, he has had opportunity to test 
it in but three cases- — all of them of opium narcosis. 
In these it exceeded his expectations, as also those 
of the physicians present who saw it used. The 
first case was that of a man, aged 30, who had taken 
seven or eight grains of morphine with suicidal 
intent. Three hours afterwards, the narcosis was 
-^o deep that be could not be aroused. Respiration, 
one, or less, per minute; pulse, 140; pupils con- 
tracted to pin-points. Sulphate of atropia, 1-60 gr., 
and soon after 1-20 gr., was given hypodermically. 
Five and a half hours after the morphine was 
taken. Dr. Vanderburg arrived with his instrument. 
Pulse, 138 and weak ; respiration, one; pupils partly 
dilated; skin moist and clammy; deep cyanosis. 
The respirator was applied, and respirations forced 
at the rate of twelve to fifteen per minute. For an 
hour there was no perceptible change, but at the 
expiration of that time, the extreme urgency of the 
symptoms began to abate. At the end of three 
hours, the improvement was so decided that Dr. 
Vanderburg went home, leaving the case, however, 
in charge of a physician. The respirations were 
now thirteen, deep and regular; pulse, 120. The 
patient was thought to be getting sufficient air, and 
forced respiration was discontinued, nor was it 
necessary again to resort to it. The case terminated 
in recovery. No lung trouble supervened. Con- 
siderable air was forced into the stomach and 
bowels, but this soon disappeared without produc- 
ing bad effects. The only untoward sequel 1 vias a 
partial deafness in one ear, which lasted ten days, 
attributed to the action of the air in the Eustachian 
tube or to a possible rupture of the tympanum. 
No examination of the latter was made. 

The second case — the worst of the three — was 
that of a child 20 months old, who had swallowed 
one and a quarter grains of morphine. The narcosis 
ensuing became so profound and persisted so long, 
that family physician, friends, and even parents 
gave up all hope, and at length protested against 
further "torture of the child" by continuing the 
use of the respirator. Permission was reluctantly 
• accorded, however, to go on with its use for a 
" short time." Fortunately, a very slight but per- 
ceptible change for the better occurred before the 
parents again interfered. Furthur improvement 
was not long delayed, and, in brief, the child w.l^ 

The third case — the least urgent of the three — 
also terminated favorably. 

The use of the instrument need in no wise inter- 
fere with any efforts on the part of the patient to 
inflate his own lungs. On the contrary, such 
efforts may be greatly assisted, while, between these, 
one or more artificial respirations may be interpo- 
lated. The author thinks that all vessels, bathing 
resorts, life-saving stations, etc., should be supplied 
with some device of the kind. An instrument of 
small size is specially recommended for resuscitating 
asphyxiated newly-born babes. 

The question having been raised whether any- 
thing as powerful as a bellows may be used to effect 
artificial respiration without rupturing the lung 
tissue. Dr. Vanderburg replies that Dr. Fell's cases 
have forever set this question at rest. If a bellows 
can be Used for nearly twenty-four hours, forcing 
respiration through a fresh opening in the trachea, 
which must allow more or less blood to get into the 
lungs, and all without occasioning undesirable lung 
complications, the danger cannot be very great. 
Furthermore, repeated experiments on a common 
fowl have convinced him that force enough cannot 
be brought to bear by means of a bellows to rupture 
the lungs. The great elasticity of lung tissue 
should be borne in mind. W. 

I Specially Compiled for PopitUzr Science yews. I 



Dr. Lavista related the following case at a recent 
meeting of the National Academy of Mexico {Medi- 
cina Practica) : A man about 35 years of age, 
while riding on horseback, received a stab in the 
abdomen. The knife penetrated the bladder, and, 
through the rearing of his horse, was broken over 
the pubic bone, one of the pieces — ninety-three mil- 
limetres long — falling into the bladder, where it 
remained two years and a half. The wound gradu- 
ally closed, but the fragment of^the blade within the 
bladder set up a severe cystitis. From the time of 
the injury the patient was never able to stand quite 
erect — always bending the body slightly forward. 
The pain was so incessant that he could scarcely 
sleep, and he became greatly emaciated. Calculus 
having been diagnosed, lithotrity was attempted, 
but it was found impossible to crush the stone. 
Exploration was then made through an opening in 
the perineum, when the broken blade was dis- 
covered, placed like a bridge between the anterior 
and posterior walls of the bladder, directed down- 
wards and backwards, with the edge undermost. 
It had become so immovably fixed in this position 
that it could not be removed through the perinieum. 
Supra-pubic cystotomy was then resorted to. The 
incision first made — ten centimetres in length — 
proved insufficient, and had to be enlarged. The 
trespassing knife-blade was at length removed, and 
also the pieces of a large stone. This had been of 
such size as to distend the bladder, and prevent the 
point of the knife from penetrating the posterior 
wall. The walls of the bladder were ulcerated and 
covered with vegetations. After scraping the mu- 
cous membrane, the opening into the bladder was 
accurately sutured, drainage being provided for both 
above and below the pubes. " Healing was almost 
immediate, no untoward circumstance occurred, and 
the course of the case has been of the happiest." 
"One hardly knows," adds the London Medical 
Recorder, "which most to admire in this most 
extraordinary case — the skill of the surgeon, or the 
phenomenal endurance of the patient." 

mie de Medecine {Journal de Medecine) a case of 
trephining for cerebral haimorrhage, together with 
statistics of thirty such cases, all of which were 
non-traumatic in their origin. There had been no 
deaths and no untoward occurrences. The new 
case was that of a man, aged 53, who had had an 
attack of cerebral h;cmorrhage twenty months 
before. Right hemiplegia ensued, together with 
late contracture of the hand and epileptic seizures. 
The focus of disturbance in the brain was localized 
at the middle part of the precentral convolution. 
Craniometrical measurements were made, in accord- 
ance with the results of which trephining was per- 
formed. The remains of an old cerebral hiemor- 
rhage were found and removed. Antiseptic precau- 
tions were duly observed, and drainage was provided 
for. Time of operation, one hour and a quarter. 
The next day the contracture of the hand had 
ceased, and the hemiplegia showed marked im- 
provement. Speech was more distinct, and the 
patient also showed greater intelligence. During 
four months he has had no return of the convul- 
sions, from which, previous to the operation, he had 
suffered at least as often as once in two weeks. 

Dr. Charles McBurney, of New York City, 
with the aid of Dr. William Allan Starr, the neu- 
rologist, of the same city, recently secured an 
excellent result in a case of intra-cranial surgery. 
The patient, himself a physician, — Dr. Clark, of 
Rochester, N. Y., — received an injury of the liead, 
through accident, last summer, which was followed 
by aphasia and by paralysis of the right side of the 
body. The paralysis was, after a time, partially 
recovered from, but, the aphasia continuing, he was 
brought to the Roosevelt Hospital, New York City, 
for treatment. The seat of the brain lesion having 
been located, — and correctly, as the sequel proved, 
— trephining was performed, and disclosed the 
presence of a clot, the removal of which resulted in 
complete relief of the paralysis, and in partial 
relief of the aphasia. Complete relief of the latter, 
also, the physicians confidently believe, will be the 
ultimate result of the operation. 

Mr. M'Gill, of Leeds, reports (Lancet) a case of 
ununited fracture of the radius, in which he scraped 
the ends of bone, and filled the space left between — 
about three-fourths of an inch — with small bits of 
bone from a young rabbit. Immediate union re- 
sulted. The patient was shown before the British 
Medical Association five months after the operation, 
"when the injured arm was as useful as the other." 

Championnikre recently reported to the Acade- 


Disease. — Dr. Henry D. White, of Nutley, N. J., 
says (New York Medical Journal) that in treating 
chronic Bright's disease, where the urine is scanty 
and high-colored, it is often very difficult to find a 
diuretic that will act satisfactorily, for any length of 
time. A patient of his, 55 years old, weighing 350 
pounds, the mother of eleven children, has had 
Bright's disease five years. When he first saw her, 
about ten months ago, she vras suffering from 
dyspnoea, constipation, excessive oedema of the legs, 
with small superficial ulcers, which caused intense 
pain. The urine was very small in quantity and of 
high color. Diuretics, laxatives, etc., were pre- 
scribed, with temporary relief; but nothing could 
be found in the way of a diuretic which did not 
speedily lose its efficacy. Treatment was continued, 
with little satisfaction to either patient or physician, 
for about four months, when, one day, the sufferer 
casually expressed a desire for some buttermilk. 
The doctor offered no objection, and the patient, 
in following the "indication" afforded by her own 



[May, 1890. 

craving, entered upon a course of treatment, the 
results of which were most astonisliing to her phy- 
sician. Tlie next time he saw her was about a week 
after she began taking buttermilk. She then told 
him that since she had been taking it she had 
passed large quantities of urine, of a healthy color. 
"It is needless to say," writes Dr. White, "that I 
was surprised at the result, as I had never in my 
reading seen any reference to its use." To satisfy 
himself as to the cause of the gratifying change in 
the patient, the buttermilk was stopped for two days. 
The urine at once became scanty and high-colored ; 
while, on returning to the use of the buttermilk, the 
urine increased in amount and became of normal 
color. Since that time the patient has taken no 
medioine of any kind, and has almost lived on 
buttermilk, never taking, however, more than two 
quarts a day. The bowels have acted naturally, the 
oedema has almost entirely subsided, the ulcers on 
the legs have healed, and the patient said she had 
not felt so well for years. Dr. White disclaims any 
attempt to explain the action of the buttermilk on 
the kidneys. "I merely give this," he remarks in 
closing, "as an example of its use as a diuretic, 
when everything else had failed. Whether it will 
have the same effect in every other case of chronic 
Bright's disease, I am not prepared to say, as I have 
not had enough experience with it yet. At any 
rate, it seems worthy of a trial." 

MiiyjEL AND RuEFF, after a long series of careful 
observations, {Therapeutic Gazette), recommend the 
inhalation of biniodide of mercury in pulmonary 
tuberculosis. Often after the first administration, 
they say, the cough is relieved, and the expectora- 
tion — even in cases in which there are large cavities 
— becomes reduced in quantity and less offensive in 
odor. Further administration, it is claimed, stops 
the night sweats, increases the bodily weight, and 
improves the general condition. Their method is 
to dissolve one part each of biniodide of mercury 
and iodide of potassium in a thousand parts of dis- 
tilled water. The resulting solution is used in the 
form of a spray, at first once a day, and afterwards 
— when the patient has become accustomed to the 
treatment — twice daily. If too irritating, the 
strength may be reduced, even one half, since it is 
claimed that this preparation of mercury is destruc- 
tive to bacteria in proportion of one to forty thous- 
and. The treatment should be persisted in for long 
periods, if necessary ; patients may be subjected to 
it a year or more without suflering any evil effects 
from it. "If we admit that phthisis is due to the 
presence and growth of a bacillus, the use of such 
a bacteriocide would be indicated on theoretical 
grounds, and, as the authors' experience seems to 
prove that its use may be persisted in without 
danger to the patient, it is certainly worthy of a 

Bromoform in Whooping-cough. — Dr. Stepp 
{Deutsche Mediciniscke Wochenschrift) claims to have 
treated one hundred children with thi.s remedy, with 
successful results in every instance. The bromoform 
was given in a pure form, dropped into a teaspopn- 
ful of water. Being of greater specific gravity than 
the water, it sinks to the bottom, and gathers in a 
mass, which is easily swallowed. The dose for an 
infant three or four weeks old is one drop three or 
four times a day ; older infants may be given two or 
three drops three times a day; children between 
two and four years old, four or five drops three or 
four times daily, — and so on up to children of seven 
years, for whom the dose is six to seven drops. 
The cough. Dr. Stepp reports, was at once relieved, 
and cure was complete in from two to four weeks. 
No undesirable after-efl'ects were observed. More 

than two grammes of the liquid should not be pre- 
scribed at one time, because of the readiness of the 
bromoform to decompose. It should not be exposed 
to sunlight, which sets free the bromine. 

Silicate of Magnesium is Chronic Diarrikf. a. 
— Dr. Dehove claims excellent results in this obsti- 
nate affection from the use of silicate of magnesium 
suspended in milk. The dose is from half an ounce 
to an ounce and a half to the quart. 

According to Dr. L. G. Doane, of New York 
City, a neat way of giving quinine is as follows : 

R. Qiiinine, i grain 

Chocolate, i scruple 

Children, he says, will take quinine in this form, 
and cry for more. 

Chloral hydrate is said to be almost a specific 
for quinsy, in its early stages. It is to be dissolved 
in glycerine — three or four grains to the ounce — 
and used as a gargle. It acts as an antiseptic, 
astringent, and sedative. 

Dr. Marcell Hartvvig, of Buffalo, N. Y., pro- 
poses a plan for raising the standard of the medical 
profession in this country, which, he claims, is 
more practicable, as well as more consistent with 
the liberty of the citizens, than any heretofore advo- 
cated. A separate class of practitioners should be 
established by the State; "State physicians" they 
might be called, unless some better designation be 
suggested. This class should be open to all upon 
passing an examination before a board appointed 
by the Governor. Entrance to this class should be 
a prerequisite to the holding of public medical 
office, and to the appearing in courts as expert wit- 
nesses. Other practitioners might exist, as now, 
and the people enjoy the right to employ them, if 
they choose, in preference. But the " State physi- 
cians" ought soon to stand enough higher with the 
people to make it almost a necessity for a medical 
man, who would succeed, to gain entrance to the 
more reputable class. 

A philanthropic Englishman, whose name has 
not been published, but who is said to be the Duke 
of Westminster, has recently given half a million 
dollars to found a convalescent home for the poor of 
London. Only those who are familiar with the 
crowded state of most of the large hospitals for the 
poorer classes in large cities are in a position to 
appreciate what a useful adjunct to them such a 
charity must be. Many a poor man, after recover- 
ing from a serious illness, has had to give place, in 
the hospital, to some more urgent case, before, 
however, his own health was fully re-established, 
and has had to go forth, unfit for work, but unable 
to live without work, only to suffer a relapse, which, 
if not fatal, ends in confirmed invalidism. In many 
of our American cities the establishment of such an 
institution would be of greater benefit to the work- 
ing poor than an increase in the number of hospitals. 

A Good Suhstitute for Mother's Milk. — Add 
a pint of boiling wafer to a pint of pearl barley; 
allow it to cool, and then strain. Mix one-third of 
a pint of this barley with two-thirds of a pint of 
fresh, pure milk, and sweeten with a teaspoonful 
of milk sugar. A mixture will be produced which 
strongly resembles human milk in color, taste, and 
consistence, and which has been extensively and 
satisfactorily used as a substitute. — Medical Sum- 

published monthly by the 

Popular Science News Company, 

*> Somerset Street, Sostoii. 





The Publishers of the NEWS earnestly request that sub- 
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postal card should be enclosed with the remittance. 

Publisljers' CoIuiqr. 

*' What a remarkably neat hand you write." Yes, I always 
use an Esterbrook Pen. 

Attention is called to the advertisemunt of the Kstey 
Okgan on the next page. An investigation of its merit is 
equivalent to a purchase. 

An infant recently born at Mason City, West 
Virginia, weighed at birth but one pound. 

Schools and laboratories in need of chemical apparatus will 
do well to communicate with Messrs. Kichakds & Co., New 
York. They are a thoroughly reliable house. 

Dk. Benj". II. Briggs, Selma, Ala., writes: *" Colden's 
Liquid Beef Tonic* is an excellent preparation, whose com- 
position is known, and one that physicians can intelligently 
prescribe. I have found it of great service in my practice." 

In some southern cities the distilled water which is a by- 
product of the artificial ice machines, is sold for drinking and 
culinary purposes at a large profit. One factory using a ma- 
chine manufactured by David BovLE,of Chicago, nets $250.00 
a month from this source, in addition to the regular sale of the 

"Gems and Precious Stones" is the title of a book piib- 
Hshed by the Scientific Publishing Co., New York, which 
should be in every library. The illustrations arc exceedingly 
fine, and the whole work is magnificent. The several Agassiz 
Association Chapters should have a copy of this book for 
reference and study. 

"A Year Among the Trees" is the title of a book for- 
merly published at $1.50, but now reduced to 75 cents. The 
matter contained in this volume ot more than 300 pages is taken 
wholly from " the woods and by-ways of New England," and 
will prove especially interesting to the members of the A. A. 
Educational Pu»lishing Co., Boston. 

D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, issue this week Deuttsche 
Literufurgesc/nchte, Vol. 1., by Prof. Carla Wenckebach of 
Welleslej College. The purpose of this work, which is to be 
in three volumes, is to offer students a history, in the Gertnan 
language, of the growth of German literature. While the book 
aims to be popular, it is not on that account less scientific. The 
best authorities have been canvassed, and it is believed that it 
is in harmony with recent investigations. Mehterstucke »nr 
Litentturffescfiic/ite, Vol. I., is bound with Vol. I. of the 

I^itthll's LiviNci Age. — The numbers of Thf Living Aye 
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Zht ^^opular Science jBtetuo 



Volume XXIV. 

BOSTON, JUNE, 1890. 

Numher 6. 


Pamiliar Science.— Scientific Recre.itions . Si 
The Eiffel Meteorological Observatory . . 8i 
Review ot'Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace's 'Dar- 
winism" 82 

Theories on the Formation of the Earth . . 83 

Foster's Flat 84 

Scientific Brevities 84 

Practical Chemistry and the Arts. — Hints 

to Intending Amateur Photographers . . 85 

A Chinese Seed-Planter 85 

Practical Recipes 85 

The Out-Door World. — A Corresponding 

Geological Chapter 86 

A Course in Mineralogy ....... 86 

A Wonderful Record 87 

Influence of the A. A. on School Teaching . 87 

Exchange Notices 87 

Chapter Addresses, New and Revised ... 87 

Convention of the Massachusetts Assembly . S7 

The A. A. Hill and Dale Club 88 

Reports of Chapters 88 

Editorial. — Some Curious Effects of Atmos- 

plieric Erosion 90 

Paris Letter 90 

Meteorology for April, 1890 91 

Astronomical Phenomena for June, 1890 . . 91 

Safety in Preparing Oxygen 92 

"The Evolution Club" of Chicago . ... 92 

Qiiestions and Answers 92 

Literary Notes 92 

Medicine and Pharmacy.— The Care of the 

Eyes 93 

Women in Pharmacy 94 

Open-Air Exercise in Consumption .... 95 

The Relief of Deformity from Prominent Ears 96 

Music as a Medicine 96 

Medical Miscellany 96 

Publishers' Column 96 

Ban^iliar Science. 


To show the difiercnt conductibility of 
heat of different metals, take two stout wires, 
one of iron and one of copper, heat them 
gently, and rub a piece of paraffine or wax 
over them, so as to give them a thin coating. 

the resulting drop slowly move towards the 
bottle. It will be at once evident that the 
coating on the copper wire melts much faster 
than that on the iron, showing that the former 
is a better conductor of heat. The experi- 
ment may be varied by attaching a grain of 
shot, or any small object, to the wires by a 
bit of wax. If both are placed at the same 
distance from the candle-Hame, the one 
attached to the wire which is the best con- 
ductor of heat will drop first. In this 
connection it may be mentioned that copper 
is almost the best conductor known, both of 
heat and electricity, being only exceeded by 
silver, in a very slight degree. • 

A FRICTIONAL electrical machine can be 
easily extemporized in any well-regulated 
family by pressing the household cat into the 
service of science. Place the legs of a chair 
in four clean glass tumblers to insulate it ; 

obtained without insulating the chair at all, 
but the results are more brilliant when this is 
done. The only drawback to this experi- 
ment is the total lack of scientific enthusiasm 
in the average cat, who is likelv to object 
most strenuously, in the familiar feline man- 
ner, against a repetition of the development 
of electrical energy. The electricity thus 
produced is generated by the friction between 
the hand and the fur, and does not dilFer 
from' that produced by any frictional electric 
machine. Tlie organism of the cat plays no 
part in it, beyond furnishing a coating of dry 
and warm fur from which the mysterious 
form of energy may be proiluced by friction. 
The accompanying illustrations are repro- 
duced from Za Nature. 

fhen support them at one end by a cork 
placed in a bottle, taking care to incline the 
wires a very little towards the cork. Then 
place the other end in the flame of a candle, 
as shown in the illustration, and in a few 
seconds the paraffine will begin to melt, and 

tiicn let the person holding the cat sit on the 
chair, resting his feet on the rounds. Then 
let another person genth' stroke the cat a few 
times, when quite powerful sparks will 
appear in tiic fin" of poor pussy, or may be 
drawn from her nose by presenting the 
knuckle to it ; or they may be drawn from 
the chin or fingers of the person holding the 
cat. It would be dangerous, however, to 
attempt to draw them from the eyes. This 
experiment will succeed best in a dry and 
cool atmosphere, and the hand of the person 
stroking the fur should be warm and free 
from moisture. Very good sparks can be 


One of the most unique meteorological 
stations in the world is that situated on the 
very summit of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, 
983 feet above the ground, and 1,103 feet 
above the sea level. At the top of the tower 
is a small room, reserved for the use of M. 
Eiffel, the designer of the tower ; and above 
this, situated on a platform only five feet in 
diameter, is a fine collection of meteorologi- 
cal instruments, "both self-registering and for 
direct reading, to which access is obtained 
through the trap-door, O. In addition to the 
usual type of hygrometers, barometers, ther- 
mometers, rain-guages, etc., a novel form of 
weather-vane is shown in the illustration at 
C, and at B an anemometer for measuring 
the force of vertical currents of air, as well 
as the ordinary horizontal form at A. A tel- 
ephone contained in the box T gives direct 
communication with the lower world. 

Although the observatory has been estab- 
lished but a short time, some very interesting 
results have been obtained. It is found that 
the average velocity of the wind is about 
three times as great at the summit of the 
tower as at a station in the city below which 
is about 60 feet above the ground. Another 
curious observation is that regarding the time 
of day when the maximum velocity of the 
wind occurs. In the city itself this occurs 
about I P. M., and at sunrise the velocity is 
the least ; while at the summit of the tower 
the minimum force of the wind is observed 
between 9 and 10 A. M., rising to a maxi- 
mum about 1 1 P. M. These observations 


[June, 1890. 

correspond with those observed at the moun- 
tain observatories of the Puy de Dome and 
Pic du Midi. A simihu" approximation to 
mountain stations is noticed in the tempera- 
ture, which averages from two to three degrees 
lower at the summit than at the base. A 
"cold wave" has also been known to pass 
over the observatory which did not aflect the 
temperature of the air in the city till a day or 
two later. 

While the actual elevation of the Eiflel 
observatory is small compared with that of 
many mountain stations, yet, as it stands by 
itself in the air, free from the influence of 
any surrounding objects, and in a position 
where the observations taken can be immedi- 
ately compared with those of an observatory 
in the same vicinity and at a lower level, it is 
particularly well adapted for investigations 
upon the influence of elevations upon mete- 
orological conditions ; and we may expect in 
the future a continuance of the valuable 
results already obtained. 

The accompanying illustration is repro- 
duced from La Nature. 

[Original in Popular Science Jftioe.] 


There is a singular timeliness in the appearance, 
just now, of a volume that sets forth Darwinism in 
language so clear and a style so easy that any intel- 
ligent reader may obtain a correct insight into the 
power and range of the great principle. It is, 
moreover, peculiarly appropriate that such an expo- 
sition should come from the pen of Mr. Alfred 
Russel Wallace ; for it must never be forgotten that 

in the first publication of the theory, in the journal 
of the Linneau Society, July, 1858, the names of 
Darwin and Wallace stand side by side. To each 
had the formation of new species by means of the 
perpetuation by Nature of varieties best fitted to 
suivive in the struggle for existence, come as an 
original tliought. Into the mind of Darwin it had 
flashed, as far back as 1838, while patiently accumu- 
lating and reflecting on all sorts of facts bearing on 
the transmutation of species — that "mystery of 
mysteries" to which his attention had been directed 
during his recent voyage in the Beagle. To Mr. 
Wallace it occurred quite as independently, twenty 
years later, and afar oft' among the animals and 
plants of the Malay Archipelago. But, while the 
originality of the discovery belongs equally to Wal- 
lace and Darwin, as it was Darwin, through the 
twenty years of cogitation, investigation, experi- 
ment, and minute research, who was first able to 
command attention to the great principle, it became 
associated with his name alone, and for many years 
has been known as "Darwinism." If to the end of 
time it should not be so designated, it will not be 
the fault of Mr. Wallace, who, in his loyally to the 
memory of his friend, entirely suppresses himself, 
and speaks throughout his volume as though the 
theory of natural selection belonged to Darwin, 
and to Darwin alone. 

Darwinism, pure and simple, is the theme of Mr. 
Wallace's book, although, in the treatment of his 
subject, he by no means confines himself to an 
epitome of Darwin's work or to an exposition of 
Darwin's views. The years that have followed the 
publication of The Origin of Species have added 
immensely to our biological knowledge. Of the 
new facts thus brought out — many of which had 
been collected by Darwin for his own future use — 
Mr. Wallace avails himself largely, bringing some 
of them to bear critically even on the later work of 
the great master himself. 

After a brief statement of what naturalists have 
meant by the word species, and their origin, Mr. 
Wallace takes the reader, as it were, behind the 
scenes, and shows him Nature in anything but the 
calm, orderly, and peaceful state that sentimentalists 
like to picture. He shows organized life multiply- 
ing on all sides with fatal rapidity, and the few 
organisms that survive their earliest youth strug- 
gling one against another to secure the food and 
protection requisite to bring them to maturity. He 
points out the advantages possessed by those that 
are superior in the special qualities on which safety 
depends, and demonstrates the variety that may 
obtain in the nature and quantity of these qualities. 
That the reader should be convinced beyond doubt 
that Nature does seize upon and perpetuate any 
variation that gives its owner an advantage in the 
struggle for existence, it is of the utmost importance 
to firmly establish the principle that animals and 
plants do constantly vary in the manner and to the 
amount requisite to afford material on which natu- 
ral selection may work. Darwin, it will be remem- 
bered, appealed, for the most part, to the facts of 
variation among domesticated plants and animals, 
especially among dogs and pigeons. Mr. Wallace, 
making use of material that has only become acces- 
sible through the lines of research opened up by 
the work of Darwin, has found his wide and com- 
prehensive array of facts among animals and plants 
in a state of nature. So great, also, is the import- 
ance that he attaches to these facts, that he has, 
with rare ingenuity, prepared diagrams which ex- 
hibit variation in important organs as they are 
actually found among the members of many existing 
species. Indeed, so impressive is Mr. Wallace that 
the reader receives the conviction that, had he but I 
eyes to see it, he would discover, among the indl- I 

viduals of any species of animal or plant, as much 
variety in structure and habits as he finds among 
his human acquaintance. 

When it is remembered, moreover, that all the 
ofl'spring of any particular pair are subject to indi- 
vidualities, and that the few that survive to maturity 
are immensely outnumbered by the many that fall 
by the way, the number of variations constantly 
being produced in any large and widespread species 
is seen to be enormous, providing at all times some 
forms fitted to adapt themselves to a change in the 
natural conditions in which they were produced. 
Consequently, it is not difficult to follow Mr. Wal- 
lace in his most interesting summary of the present 
state of opinion on such oft-repeated objections to 
Darwin's theory as, the supposed smallness of vari- 
ations, the doubt as to the right variation occurring 
when required, the beginnings of important organs, 
useless or non-adaptive characters, the instability 
of non-adaptive characters, the swamping eft'ects of 
intercrossing, and the effects of isolation. In an 
equally interesting manner does he discuss the 
infertility of crosses between distinct species, and 
the usual sterility of their hybrid offspring. But 
even in his hands, and though he treats it at length 
and in a remarkably forcible manner, the subject 
will require the very closest attention on the part of 
anyone who wishes to gain a clear comprehension 
of all the arguments involved. 

The close correspondence that exists between the 
colors of animals as a whole and their general 
environment, has been made familiar of late bv 
means of many popular essays. The reader is, 
therefore, prepared to extend the principle of pro- 
tective resemblances to the colors of manv animals 
that appear glaringly conspicuous when removed 
from their. native haunts. It is not, at first, so easy 
to see that visibility may, in some cases, be of 
greater service than concealmiSnt. Nevertheless, 
Mr. Wallace's illustrations leave no room to doubt 
that to crepuscular animals, and to those that are 
more or less gregarious, it is of the utmost advan- 
tage that they should possess marks which render 
them easily distinguishable to their kind ; the white 
upturned tail of the rabbit, for instance, serving as 
a signal and guide to those behind in a panic- 
stricken race for the burrow. This class of colors 
— which he calls "recognition marks" — is believed 
by Mr. Wallace to have had an exceedingly import- 
ant and widespread influence in determining the 
diversities of animal coloration. It is not for recog- 
nition by friends alone, however, that color seems 
to have been developed for the express purpose 
of rendering a species conspicuous. To animals 
that are inedible, or possessed of dangerous, offen- 
sive weapons, it is a saving of energy, and even of 
life, to carry outward and visible signs of their 
character. These "danger-flag" colors Mr. Wal- 
lace shows to be especially displayed in the insect 
world, where, a wound inflicted by mistake bringing 
death as surely as if the victim were afterwards 
devoured by its assailant, there is great need of 
some well-defined markings or colors to make 
known to insectivores the species that it would be 
best for them to*void. Theassociated phenomenon 
of "mimicry" is treated by Mr. Wallace in a truly 
fascinating manner, and illustrated by wood cuts 
that clearly display the remarkable resemblances 
whereby many weak, small, edible species share the 
immunity from danger enjoyed by other species 
that are uneatable, dangerous, or merely strong. 

The differences of color or of ornamental append- 
ages in the two sexes is connected with some of the 
most disputed questions in natural history. Dar- 
win, as is well known, iitiputed the origin of all the 
decorative crests and accessory plumes of birds, the 
crests and beards of monkeys and other mammals, 

Vol. XXIV. No. 6.] 



and tlie brilliant colors and patterns of male birds 
and buttertlies, to a process that he called "sexual 
selection." Sexual selection, applied to the devel- 
opment of the exceptional strength, size, and 
activity of the male, together with the possession of 
special offensive and defensive weapons, is admitted 
by Mr. Wallace to be a real power in Nature. But 
he is unable to follow Darwin into the extension 
of it to include the direct action of female choice or 
preference. The display of plumes and crests and 
gorgeous color, in so far as it is the outward and 
visible sign of the maturity and vigor of the male, 
is undoubtedly attractive to the female. It is going 
too far, Mr. Wallace believes, to credit her with 
icsthetic emotions and artistic tastes strong enough 
to cause her to choose her mate on account of 
minute differences in the forms, colors, or patterns 
of their ornamentation. Moreover, it has been 
proved that among butt(?rflies and moths, where the 
display of color and ornamentation in the male is 
very great, the female no choice at all. 

As a substitute for this theory of female choice, 
Mr. Wallace elaborates one for which he acknow- 
ledges his indebtedness to a posthumous work by 
Mr. Alfred Tylor. Of this, the underlying principle 
is, the general dependence of diversified coloration 
on structure ; the tracts in which distinct develop- 
ments of color appear being marked out by the 
chief divisions of the skeleton in vertebrates and 
by the segments in the annulosa. Further than 
this, colors are shown by Mr. Wallace to vary in 
brilliancy, according to the degree of muscular and 
nervous development of the part on which they 
appear, reaching among birds a marvellous degree 
of perfection on the frills and crests and jewelled 
shields of the tropical humming-birds; in the 
resplendent eyespots on the elongated tail-coverts 
of the peacock ; on the enormously expanded wing- 
feathers of the argns-pheasant, and the magnificent 
shoulder plumes of the birds of paradise. Mr. 
Wallace would derive not only the color but the 
ornamental appendages themselves from an excess 
of strength, vitality, and growth-power, and to the 
same cause attribute their display at all periods of 
nervous or sexual excitement. It is in the tropics 
that this surplus of vital force is best able to expend 
itself without injury. In the tropics are concen- 
trated forms of life driven from temperate regions 
by glacial periods of extreme severity. Here the 
luxuriant vegetation affords abundant food and 
perennial shelter, and the course of development 
has been almost unbroken and unchecked from 
remote geological times. The tropics, therefore, 
are the paradise of the animal world, and, entering 
it with Mr. Wallace, we see in its gorgeous occu- 
pants a culmination of the marvel and mystery of 
animal color — for a marvel and mystery it must 
remain, even though each separate hue has been 
produced through the agency of natural selection. 

[Original in PopttUtr Science yews J 



The searcher after truth has many sources to 
draw irom while making up evidence on the great 
antiquity of the world. True, he will meet some 
sciolists with a smattering of science, who make 
extravagant demands for the formations and depos- 
its, which can be accounted in more ways than 
one. Theories keep pace with the advancement of 
science; some, in their widest application, demand 
such long periods of time that natural science 
cannot grant them: Geology is also in an unsettled 
state on the time question, owing to the theory now 
rapidly gaining ground that the rocks were formed, 

not by mechanical force, but by chemical agency 
superadded. How does geology or natural science 
in its present state explain the origin of heaven, or 
even that of our globe.' 

Science is not positive on this question. All 
modern geologists of note .icknowledge that all the 
hypothesis about the former history of the earth 
must be based upon its present condition — on the 
forces now at work, on the laws which now exist; 
that all hypothesis must be rejected which begins by 
assuming that formerly difVerent laws of Nature 
were in force. Still, it cannot be denied the 
scientist the question: Have the causes which are 
now at work always existed in a like manner, with 
equal force and to the same extent.' This suppo- 
sition is held by Sir Charles Lyell ; others, however, 
say : May we assume that such causes have worked 
ditferently at different times, — at primitive times 
more powerfully than they do at present? Accord- 
ing to the first theory, the course of the earth's 
history would have been comparatively quiet; and 
according to the second, its development in ancient 
times would have been interrupted by great catas- 
trophies, revolutions, and convulsions. 

It is extremely arbitrary to assume that all geo- 
logical phenomena have been brought about by 
causes similar to those which are at work in our 
days, and that those causes never possessed greater 
force than they have had since the present order of 
things. Nature does not now work as she did for- 
merly, for the circumstances are no longer the same. 
We see the great series of Neptunian deposits 
divided off into a certain number of groups. This 
leads us to the thought of a series of sudden and 
violent catastrophies, each one of which was able to 
change the form of the seas and the course of the 
rivers over vast tracts, which were separated from 
one another by periods of comparative quiet. (For 
full text see Leonhardt, Geology, II., page 70.) 

Sir R. Murchison, speaking in 1865, (see Athen- 
ceum, September 16, 1S65, page 376), says; "I 
adhere (in opposition to Ramsay, Jukes, and 
Geikie) to my long-cherished opinion as to the 
great intensity of power employed in the production 
of dislocations of the earth. • • • Admiring 
the Huttonian theory, I maintain that such reason- 
ing is quite inadequate to explain the manifest 
proofs of convulsive agency, which abound all over 
the crust of the earth. * ♦ * I reject as an 
assumption which is at variance with the number- 
less proofs of intense disturbance, that the mechan- 
ical disruptions of former periods and the overthrow 
of entire formations, as seen in the Alps and many 
mountain chains, can be accounted for by any 
length of existing causes." 

These conflicting theories have established Con- 
vulsionists, or Catastrophists ; Quietists, or Uni- 
formitarians, as they are called ; also Neptiinists, 
and Plutonists, or Vulcanists ; the latter denote 
another deeply rooted opposition of parties. The 
theory formulated after this depends on the relative 
influence which is accorded to water and to fire, 
respectively, in the formation of the earth. Accord- 
ing to the Neptunian theory, the universe went 
forth from the water. All elements and constituent 
parts of the earth were originally dissolved in 
water. Through pressure, chemical precipitate, 
and crystallization, the primitive mountains se- 
creted themselves in the course of time from the 
pulp-like mass ; then, through further alluvials and 
deposits, the transition rocks and alluvial earth 
arose, until, finally, through the destruction in the 
mountain layers, as also through inflammation of 
combustible matter in the interior of the earth, and 
the thousands of other changes, the present surface 
of the earth formed itself. 

Such was the theory in vogue for quite a long 

time, but in the middle of the present century it 
was supplanted by an opposite view. Experience 
teaches us, however, that the heat of the earth 
increases the deeper we penetrate, and both the 
ignivomous mountains and hot fountains which 
break forth from the interior of the earth, led to the 
conclusion that we have to ascribe to fire a greater 
influence than to water towards the formation of 
the earth. Those who adhere to the I tter opinion 
do not altogether deny the effects of water, but they, 
give preference to fire; and we can say that the 
largest number of geologists in our days accept the 
Vulcanian theory. 

The Vulcanian theory was ably defended by Seoth 
Hutton (1726-179:;) and by a great number of Ger- 
man geologists. However, we have to remark here 
that very recently this entire hypothesis was greatly 
shaken by Ludwig, Lyell, Wagner, and Winkler. 

The adherents of the Vulcanian theory explain 
the formation of the earth in this way : They 
accept that the elementary parts of creation were 
diffused in the universe in the form of vapor or gas ; 
the siinple parts attracted each other, and began to 
turn themselves around a coinmon central point; 
hereby the globe began to form itself, which, at the 
beginning, was a very extensive gas globe, some- 
thing like a glowing ball ; through the emission of 
heat, this igneous mass became gradually harder or 
more condensed, until, finally, a firm crust, like a 
stiff bark, arose on the surface. These were the 
primitive rocks which appeared on the surface of the 
earth, and, as the hot mass in the interior moved 
and surged to and fro, they broke through the 
exterior crust from time to time. Thus empty 
spaces formed themselves on the surface of the 
earth, while its exterior crust grew gradually cooler, 
and deep chasms and depressions took place. These 
mountains which formed the primitive rocks are 
marked down as the first stage in the earth's surface, 
and the origin of metals is laid at this period. 

A second stage in the development of the earth 
into its present state is the period during which the • 
water exercised its influence on the formation of the 
earth's surface. The gases which moved in the air 
condensed themselves more and more on the cooled 
earth, and formed a great ocean, which covered the 
entire surface. These waters, which were boiling 
hot, contained various elements*that affected a part 
o( the formation of the surface. Consequently, 
various deposits, elevations and depressions of the 
ground took place, and, through the activity of the 
water, the so-called mountain chains formed them- 

The cooling of the earth and deposits of vapors 
on the earth's surface continued in later periods, 
until, finally, the terhperature sank so low that veg- 
etation could form itself upon the earth- The 
climate, at first, was tropical, which spread itself 
equally over the entire surface. Plants and animals 
came forth luxuriantly and in fulness of life; the 
great ^evolutions which changed the shape of the 
earth's surface and again destroyed whole species of 
fauna and flora, gradually ceased ; the temperature 
finally sank so low that ice formed itself in different 
localities, and now the earth does not emit more 
heat than what it receives from the sun. Thus, in 
millions of years, the surface of the earth arrived at 
its present condition, and the interior is yet in an 
igneous fusion. 

As to the length of time for the formation of the 
earth, G. Bichoft" says 353,000,000 years must have 
elapsed, and Pfaff thinks it likely that the solidify- 
ing of the earth's crust took no less than 20,000,000 
years, and the formation of the earth to its present 
state not more than 400,000,000 years. The thought 
alone of this immense number of years is enough 
to stagger and bewilder the most profound thinker. 



[June, 1890. 

Of course, all calculations on the antiquity of the 
earth are conjecture, still, some may be approxi- 
mately true. M. Poisson, supposing the tempera- 
ture of the globe was three thousand degrees at the 
moment when the solid crust began to form itself, 
has calculated about 108,000,000 years. But, if one 
admits that the original temperature was only 
fifteen hundred degrees, — a temperature more than 
sufficient to melt all the known rocks, — the time 
felapsed from the beginning of the solidificalion to 
the present would not have been more than 27,000,- 
ooe years. Undoubtedly this is yet an enormous 
length of time in comparison to what has been 
generally assigned to it by the Hebrew or Septua- 
gint texts of sacred history in times past. Astron- 
omy has revealed to us that the works of God have 
immensity in space ; geology teaches us that they 
have immensity in time. It is thus that all science 
contributes to the glory of the Eternal Creator, 
whose power and wisdom they gloriously show 



fOriginal in Popular Science News-i 


This is the name given to seventy-five or a 
hundred acres of land situated something more 
than one-half of a mile down the river from the 
Niagara whirlpool. The river runs eastward at this 
place, and closely hugs the precipice on the Ameri- 
can side, the canyon being wide enough to admit of 
the flat between the river and the precipice on the 
Canada side. 

Intent on exploring this place for the first time in 
my life, early in May, two years ago, I proceeded 
down the river from the falls. Looking over the 
precipice below the bridges at the comparatively 
narrow stream at the rapids, as it foams and dashes 
along, it is difficult to believe that a stream of that 
size is capable of draining so large an area of the 
continent. The depth must be enormous and the 
rate of speed very great. As you arrive at the whirl- 
pool, yoii will notice that a high and wooded bank 
obstructs the hurrying waters, and the precipice 
along which you are walking is lost to view in the 
shade of a wood. Jf we follow up this precipice 
into the wood, we shall find that it ultimately dis- 
. appears under the clay, coming to view occasionally 
only in places where the brink has b?en laid bare by 
the flowing over it of small surface streams. These 
streams- unite, and have excavated a deep gorge 
opening out into the whirlpool, in a direction oppo- 
site that of the waters of the river. The waters of 
the river swash upon the pebbly beach at the foot 
of this earthy obstruction like the waves on the 
shore of the ocean. Baffled in their direct course, 
they are thrown into the utmost confusion. In 
some parts of this large expanse of waters called 
the whirlpool, the surface is dimpled with vorticqs, 
alternately appearing and disappearing, and in 
other places it is boiling up from the bottom, and a 
continual change of motion is going on in all parts 
of its surface. After making a confused circuit 
around in this cul-de-sac, the waters find a compara- 
tively narrow outlet, some sixteen rods or more up 
the stream on the eastern, or American side. 

With the purpose of following down the bank of 
the river on the Canadian side, we are compelled to 
go down the steep and difficult descent made by the 
precipice, cross the outlet of the above-mentioned 
wooded gorge, proceeding along the stony beach at 
the foot of the exceedingly steep clay-bank that is 
scared by extensive landslides, and up a still steeper 
ascent till we arrive at the top of the precipice on 
the other side of the old gorge. Proceeding up 
along beside the whirlpool a little way, to where the 
water finds its outlet, we find ourselves on the top of 

a high, angular cliff, called Thompson's Point. 
Gazing down stream we see the upper end of the 
before-mentioned flat. It appears like an obstruc- 
tion partly damming the river. It is heavily wooded 
at the upper end, and, as I drew nearer, I saw that 
it was covered with huge, loose rocks — many of 
them as large as an ordinary dwelling-house. Some 
of them had evidently recently fallen from the 
precipice, and, with their jagged edges and irregu- 
lar vertical crags and points in the air, presented an 
appearance of wildness and desolation. 

Presently I ca4ne to a V-shaped notch in the pi'eci- 
pice, in the apex of which was a ladder about 
eighteen feet long, reaching down to the talus 
below. Descending, I found tolerable walking 
along under the precipice. Yes, it was literally 
under the precipice, for the softer rock beneath had 
crumbled away, leaving the harder rock above jut- 
ting out over my head, in some places a distance of 
sixteen feet or more. Large masses were, in places, 
cracked and apparently loosened, just ready to fall. 
Bushels of a white efflorescence had fallen, in 
places, at the foot of the rock. Arrived at the 
upper end of the flat, I found the waters compara- 
tively quiet, but swirling around in moderate eddies. 
But where they pass the flat further on toward the 
American side, they plunge down rapids that ate 
steeper and more tumultuous than any that are in 
the river above. This fact has been amply attested 
by those who have navigated these rapids in barrels. 
Proceeding down stream some distance, I noticed 
that the bank of this flat was some twenty or thirty 
feet higher than the river, and that the flat was, 
apparently, never flooded. This is an indication of 
the great depth that must been excavated in the 
comparatively narrow bed of these rapids. That 
there is plenty of water-power here to do this exca- 
vating, is easily imagined as you gaze up the stream 
at the huge volume of water rushing towards you 
with all the foam and dash of a wild mountain 
torrent. The hardest rock must in time yield to 
such a force. We may take into the account, too, 
the fact that great bowlders must be occasionally 
rolled along its bed. 

There is a law that governs this work of erosion 
by water that this great canyon admirably illus- 
trates. It may be formulated thus : The rapidity 
of the flow of water down a declivity of a given rate 
of descent, is, in a measure, determined by the 
hardness or softness of the rock over which it flows. 

There is a long reach of quiet water extending 
from near the cantilever bridge up to the falls. 
This quietness results from the fact that there is an 
abundance of width and depth with moderate fall. 
But the cause of this width and depth is, that it has 
a soft bottom of shale that was easily pounded and 
washed out by the waters as the falls worked back- 
ward, leaving a channel both wide and deep. 
Looking at the sides of the canyon at the bridge, 
one can see where the stratum of shale dips down- 
ward under the water. The bottom of the river 
opposite this flat must consist of a pretty hard rock, 
according to this law. 

The surface of the flat is probably a fair illustra- 
tion of the condition of the bottom of the river, 
wherever the current is not strong enough to move 
great masses of rock. These huge fragments are so 
numerous and near together at the upper end of the 
flat that no woodman's road can crowd between them, 
and the primeval forest is but little disturbed. A 
most curious forest it is, with someof its trees, more 
than a foot in diameter, perched upon rocks twenty 
feet high. Lichens, moss, and mould freely accum- 
ulate on the rocks in the damp atmosphere, and 
squirrel-corn, leeks, sarsaparilla, spikenard, liver- 
wort, and all manner of wood-plants clothe many of 
the rocks with luxuriant verdure. A primitive 

forest, undisturbed by human interference, is, in 
these days, of itself worth going a long distance to 
see, especially in such a wild and rugged region as 

Although it is impossible to draw any very elabo- 
rate or definite conclusions concerning the age 01 
the Niagara canyon, there are one or two elements 
that might be taken into the account, that I will 
venture to suggest. One of these items for consid- 
eration is, that the time thus far consumed in exca- 
vating it may be divided into at least three periods : 

First, the period during which the waters exca- 
vated the old gorge that has its outlet at St. David's, 
several miles west of Lewiston. This was previous 
to the glacial and Champlain periods, during which 
this gorge was filled with drifts. 

Second, the period during which Foster's Flat was 
the bottom of the river. Of course, the falls must 
have been much less in height than they now are, 
and we naturally infer that there must have been a 
vastly greater volume of water at that time than at 
present, from the fact that the canyon is so much 
wider than is necessary for the passage of tlie waters 
at the present day. Given a less height of fall and 
a wider canyon, and a much larger stream is re- 
quired to produce the amount of excavation that 
we see. 

Third, a long period must have elapsed during 
which the waters have been excavating the hard 
rock so much lower than the surface of the flat. 

Another element for consideration that greatly 
complicates the work of estimating the age of the 
canyon, is the fact that there was a period of incal- 
culable time during which Lake Ontario was much 
higher than at present, and probably there was a 
time when they were so high that there could have 
been no falls between the two lakes. 

I would say, in conclusion, that a visit to Lewis- 
ton, Foster's Flat, the old gorge, and the whirlpool, 
as well as the upper rapids, should be made by all 
tourists who wish to make the most of a trip to 
Niagara Falls. 
Niagara Falls Center, Ontario, March 24, 1S90. 


For Prex^^enting Rust, coal tar and asphalte are 
much used by manufacturers of iron goo.ds. The 
articles are dipped while heated in a trough of 
melted tar and asphalte, mixed to make a tough 
coating. Tliis process is, no doubt, one of the best 
substitutes for galvanizing. 

An Italian journal describes a new pharo-light, 
which is said to be as powerful as the electric light, 
and the efficiency of which is not impaired by fog. 
A clock-work arrangement pours every thirty seconds 
ten centigrammes of powdered magnesium into the 
flame of a round wick lamp, producing an extremely 
brilliant flash of light. 

The State of Trance. — Prof. William James 
of Harvard, in his article on hypnotism, entitled 
"The Hidden Self," in the March Scribner, says: 
"I know a non-hysterical woman who, in her 
trances, knows facts which altogether transcend her 
possible normal consciousness — facts about the lives 
of people whom she never saw or heard of before. 
I am well aware of all the liabilities to which this 
statement exposes me, and I make it deliberately, 
having practically no doubt whatever of its truth. 
My own impression is that the trance condition is 
an immensely complex and fluctuating thing, into 
the understanding of which we have hardly begun 
to penetrate, and concerning which any very sweep- 
ing generalization is sure to be premature. A com- 
parative study of trances and subconscious states is 
meanwhile of the most urgent importance for the 
comprehension of our nature." 

Vol. XXIV. No. 6.] 



Practical Cljen^istry aqd tlje jJrts. 

Thanks to modern improvements, the fas- 
cinating art of photography can now be 
» practiced b}- anyone, no previous knowledge 
of chemistry being required, and excellent 
outfits can be obtained at all prices, from five 
dollars upwards. A few hints to those 
intending to join the ranks of the "photo- 
graph fiends" may be of service. 
We siiould advise the beginner to start in a 
small way, with comparatively cheap appa- 
ratus, and proceed step by step, buying addi- 
tional apparatus as it may be found necessary. 
The amateur who attempts the first day he 
receives his camera to take a landscape view 
in the morning, an instantaneous picture after 
dinner, a portrait in the course of the after- 
noon, and a flash-light interior in the evening, 
will surely come to grief, and consider all 
amateur photography to be but vanity and 
vexation of spirit. Nothing is better to com- 
mence with than an architectural subject, — 
the amateur's residence, for instance, — and in 
a few trials, the first of which will undoubt- 
edly be failures, he will gain an immense 
amount of information regarding time of 
exposure, management of the camera, use of 
tlie diaphragms, etc., which will be indispen- 
sable to his further progress. 

Taking everything into consideration, we 
would recommend the 5x8 size of plate as the 
best to use. It is easy to handle, and gives a 
picture in which the details are large enough 
to be distinct, while prints of this size when 
mounted are of a convenient size to examine 
and not too large to lie aroimd the house. 
Larger sizes are adapted to particular cases, 
while apparatus for taking smaller views only 
has the advantages of greater portability and 
slightly cost. 

An excellent 5x8 outfit can be obtained 
complete for about twenty-five dollars, and is 
recommended as the best to commence with. 
As one gains experience and interest in the 
•irt» — and the interest always increases at a 
very rapid rate, — better apparatus can be 
substituted, to any extent that one's purse 
will allow, and the old apparatus sold at a 
small discount to some other beginner. Of 
course the most important part of the appa- 
ratus is tlie objective, or lens, and a good one 
should be procured before anything else. A 
strictly first-class photographic objective for 
the above size will cost from twenty to fifty 
dollars, although the single view lenses sold 
with the cheaper outfits are often most excel- 
lent, and give very satisfactory results. 
"Wide angle" lenses are indispensable for 
interiors and many out-of-door views in con- 
fined situations, but the rectilinear landscape 
lenses are the best, we think, on the whole, 
for such duties as the average amateur is 

likely to require of them. 

A very common mistake of beginners is to 
stop the development too soon. When a 
properly exposed plate is placed in the devel- 
oping solution, the image soon appears and 
is, apparently, perfect in all its details. The 
temptation is strong to remove it at once and 
wash ofl' the developer ; if this is done, the 
negative, after it is fixed, will be thin and 
lacking in detail, and, in fact, quite worthless. 
The development should be continued until 
the image nearly disappears, and the plate 
seems to be spoiled. But it is not, and an 
immersion in the fixing bath will bring out a 
brilliant negative of the necessary intensity to 
make good prints. 

It is not worth while to experiment much 
with diflerent developers. There is nothing 
much better than the ordinary pyrogallic acid 
and carbonate of soda, and the average ama- 
teur does not usually care to trouble himself 
about the refinements of the art. It is better 
to become accustomed to one solution and 
use it constantly, when uniform results will 
usually follow. The same principle will 
apply to plates. The leading brands are all 
about equally good, and there is nothing 
gained by constant change. 

No instruction in photography can take the 
place of practical experience. There is a 
sort of " knack" in the various manipulations 
which can only be acquired by practice. The 
first attempts of the photographic amateur 
are pretty certain to be accompanied by much 
trouble and anxiety, antl result after all in a 
dismal failure. If one does not forget to pulh 
out the slide, remove the cap, or take two 
pictures on the same plate, he will do well, 
for there is as much nervousness accompanv- 
ing the taking of the first picture as in land- 
ing the first trout or shooting the first deer. 
Practice will soon make perfect, however, 
and patience and perseverance will enable 
one to obtain photographs which will be 
things of beauty and joys forever — or, at least, 
until they attain what seems to be the ulti- 
mate destiny of all silver prints, and fade 
away into oblivion. 



The accompanying illustration of an im- 
plement for planting seed, so curiously similar 
in principle to those of modern times, is taken 
from a work on China by Guignes, published 
about 1808, and seems to indicate that the 
Chinese anticipated some of our supposed 
modern inventions in the line of agriculture, 
as well as gunpowder, the mariner's compass, 
and the use of movable types in printing, to 
which they modestly lay claim. It is com- 
posed of a box for holding the grain, mounted 
upon a frame of bamboo, the lower ends of 
which are provided with two small plow- 
shares. The rear part of the box, or hopper, 
is pierced with two holes, through which the 

grain passes into the hollow bamboo rods 
forming the back of the framework, which 
conduct it to the furrows made in the ground 
by the plowshares. This primitive imple- 
ment is dragged over the ground by two 
men, and, in spite of the clumsiness of its 
construction, it must be fairly effective ; at 
least it enables the Celestial farmer to plant 
his seeds much' quicker than by dropping 
them one by one from the hand. It is an 

interesting example of the state of the Chi- 
nese civilization, which seems to have devel- 
oped up to a certain point and there become 
permanently arrested, while the western na- 
tions, continuing on, left them far behind. 
Whether their modern intercourse with more 
advanced nations will start them once more 
on a career of progress, remains to be seen ; 
but the prospect is at least hopeful. 

Varnisiung Fretwork. — Use white, hard spirit- 
varnish ; it requires no size. The application is to 
be made in a warm room. Or, fill in the grain of 
the wood with glue size, and varnish with brown, 
hard varnish. 

Paper or pasteboard m.-ij' be rendered water- 
proof as follows: Mix four parts of slacked lime 
with three parts of skimmed milk, and add a little 
alum ; then give the material two successive coat- 
ings of the mixture with a brush, and let it dry. 

Filling for NAiL-noLEs. — The following method 
of filling up old nail-holes in wood is not only 
simple, but is said to be effectual. Take fine saw- 
dust and mix into a thick paste with glue, pound it 
into the hole, and when dry it will make the wood 
as good as new. Often by frequent attachment of 
new leather to old bellows-frames, the wood becomes 
so perforated that there is no space to drive the 
nails, and, even if there was, the remaining holes 
would allow the air to escape. A treatment with 
glue and sawdust paste invariably does the work, 
while lead, putty, and other remedies always fail. 

For Cleaning and Polishing Brass. — An acid 
which seems to have a peculiar solvent action upon 
the oxides, etc., and yet leaves the metallic surface 
intact, is oleic, and, when combined with finely- 
powdered Venetian red and cleaning fluids, leaves 
nothing to be desired. A good formula is : Vene- 
tian red, finely powdered, 3 troy ounces; oil of tur- 
pentine, 12 fluid ounces; oleic acid, i fluid ounce; 
ammonia water, Vi fluid ounce ; alcohol, i fluid 
ounce; oil of sassafras, lo minims. Mix; shake on 
using. To clean the brass, apply with a rag, and 
clean off when dry with whiting or precipitated 




. The Oat-Door morld. 


President of the Agassiz Association. 
[P. O. Address, Pittsfield, Mass.] 

The general outlook over the Chapters of 
the Agassiz Association is most gratifying 
and encouraging. All our courses of study 
are in full operation, and show full classes 
and abundant enthusiasm. The interest of 
our Chapters always increases as summer 
opens, and this year, in many cases, this 
interest verges upon excitement. The suc- 
cessful Conventions of the New York and 
Brooklyn Assemblies, the organization of the 
Rhode Island Assembly, the pleasant and 
promising start of the Corresponding Geo- 
logical Chapter, the large accession of new 
Chapters, and the interest aroused among 
leading educators by means of the Popular 
Science News, are all trustworthy signs of 
a quiet, but sure and healthful growth. 


As we have before explained, we have in 
the Agassiz Association, besides Chapters of 
the ordinary sort, — which are local science 
clubs, — another kind, composed not of mem- 
bers brought together by the accident of 
neighborhood, but by the stronger bond of 
a kindred interest. These "Corresponding 
Chapters " are composed of members scat- 
tered, it may be, throughout the United 
States, but all engaged in studying the same 
branch of natural science. Reports have 
been published in this paper from the Grav 
Memorial Botanical Chapter, the Isaac Lea 
Memorial Chapter of Conchology, and the 
Corresponding Archicological Chapter. It 
now gives us pleasure to report the organiza- 
tion of the Corresponding Geological Chap- 
ter of the Agassiz Association, which, begin- 
ning February 30 with sixteen members, had 
increased by April 7 to twenty-four. 

The plan of work and other details are 
clearly set forth in the constitution, which we 
give in full, not onl}' to make more intelligible 
the precise nature and functions of a "Cor- 
responding Chapter," but also that it may 
serve as a model for future Chapters of a 
similar character. This Chapter desires us 
to extend a most cordial invitation to all — 
young or old, learned or learning — to unite 
with it in its fascinating work among the 
rocks; and all who are interested may 
address Mr. Amadeus W. Grabau, General 
Secretary, 154 Maple Street, Buffalo, N. Y. 

The present officers of this Chapter arc an 
Executive Council, consisting of Franklin W. 
Barrows, President; Amadeus W. Grabau, 
General Secretary ; Frederick A. Vogt, 
Treasurer ; George T. Wardwell, and Miss 
I. S. Deane, all of Buflalo ; and four 
Division Secretaries, viz. : Mrs. E. F. Boyd, 

118 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, Mass. ; 
E. T. Liefeld, Ph. B., 53 Avon Street, New 
Haven, Ct. ; H. W. Britcher, 707 West 
Street, Syracuse, N. Y., and Rev. J. M. 
Keck, A. M., Chardon, O. 



The Corresponding Geological Cliapterof the Agassiz Asso- 


Mutual assistance in the study oi geology, mineralogy, and 
paleontology by means of correspondence and the exchange of 


Any student of geology, or any ot its branches, who gives 
suitable evidence of his ability, is eligible to membership, and, 
upon application to the President or General Secretary, becomes 
a member of this Chaj>ter and thereby of the Agassiz Associa- 
tion, by agreeing to the constitution and paying the annual 
fee. Members are recommended to purchase Three Kivgtlimis, 
the hand-book of the Agassiz Association. 


A. Geologists of advanced standing are invited to become 
Honorary Members of the Chapter. 

B. Honorary Members shall not be required to pay the 
annual fee, or to furnish quarterly reports, but will be expected 
to contribute such suggestions and advice as they find con- 
venient. 1'hey will not be entitled to vote. 


A. The elective oflicers of this Chapter shall be a President, 
General Secretary, Treasurer, and an Executive Council, elected 
in March of each year. 

IJ. The President, who must be a teacher of geology, shall 
have general supervision of the Chapter, make an annual 
report of its workings (which shall be sent to each member), 
and jierform such other duties as are provided in this conslitu- 

C. The General Secretary shall keep a list tif all members 
and their addresses; a record of all business transacted by the 
Chapter; prepare an annual repoit to the I'resident of the A. 
A., and perform such other duties as are hereafter provided. 

D. He shall be custoilian ol all the Chapter correspondence 
after it has made the circuit ol Uie Chapter, and, at the close of 
his term, turn over to his successor all books and papers 
belonging to the Chapter. 

E. 'rhe Treasurer shall have charge of all moneys of the 
Chapter, pay them out only on an order signed by the President 
and General Secretary, and make an annual report ot all 
receipts and disbursements. 

F. The Executive Coimcil shall be composed of the Presi- 
dent, who shall be, tx ojfi- ti>, chairman, General Secretary, and 
three (3) other members. '1 hey shall have general control ol 
the Chapter, and to them all motions, petitions, and plans not 
conflicting with this constitution shall be referred for decision. 

ARTICI-E 6. — Dl ES. 

The annual dues of this Chapter shall be one dollar ($[.oo), 
payable in March of each year, which shall be used to defray 
current expenses of the Cliapter, as olUcial postage, printing, 
etc., and for such other purposes as the Executive Council may 


A. The President shall arrange the Chapter into divisions 
of not more than ten (10) members, designated by the letters of 
the alphabet. 

B. Each division shall be under the immediate supervision 
of a Division Secretary, appointed by the President, with the 
consent of the Executive Council. 

C. This oflicer shali attend to the circulation of the reports 
in his division, notitying ihe l*resiilent promptly of anj irregu- 
larity in transmission. 


A. Each member sli;ill report on the first of May, August, 
November, and Febru.ny —beginning with May ist, 1S90— to 
the President, giving the result of his studies and jjersonal 
researches in geology, mineralogy, or paleontology during the 
previous quarter. 

B. The President shiiU, on the loth of the month, or as soon 
as practicable, after affixing the Chapter stamp, (or writing his 
official signature on the first page in red ink),' send the reports, 
securely sealed, to the Secretaries of the respective divisions to 
which the writers belong. 

C. These officers shall attach to the reports a register of the 
addresses and numbers of the members of their divisions 
(themselves being numbered one), and circulate them in rota- 
tion. At the same time they shall send a postal-card to the 
General Secretary, stating when they received and forwarded 
each set of reports, and the division to which they belong. 

D. Each member shall record upon the register the date of 

receiving and forwarding the reports, keep a private memoran- 
dum of the same, and inform the Secretary of his division by 
postal-card when he received and forwarded the same. 

E. No member shall keep this, correspondence more than 
three (3) days. 

F. The last member in each division shall send the reports 
and register to the Secretary of the next division, who will 
again attach to them a register of his division, and notify the 
General Secretary when he received h,nd forwarded them; and 
so on. 

G. When the reports have made a complete circuit of tlie 
Chapter, they shall he returned to the President for inspection, 
and thence forwarded to the General Secretary for future 

H. I^ight weight paper shall be used in single sheets of the 
largest commercial letter size (S%xii inches.) The General 
Secretary shall keep each member supplied with a sufficient 
amount of paper for all reports, the expense to be defrayed 
from the treasury. 

1. Each member shall fasten his report together at the top 
in some way, writing upon one side of the paper only, leaving 
an inch or more margin at the top, so that the reports may be 
bound if desired. 

J. In case a member — for sickness or any other good cause- 
is unable to rejwrt, a notice to the President, stating the reason 
of failure, shall be suilicient excuse. 


Any member who shall be guilty of a flagrant misdemeanor 
shall be dealt with in the following manner: The Executive 
Council shall constitute a committee who shall have the power 
to expel the otVending member, if he cannot show the charge 
false, unless the Chapter shall, of its own accord, protest 
against said expulsion. Provided, that in case any member of 
the Council be personally interested, his place on the committee 
shall be filled by the remainder of the Council. 


Tills constitution may be amended at any time by a two- 
thirds v(,>te of all tlie members in good standing. 

Note.— Many of the ideas, of this constitution are adopted 
from that of the Gray Memorial Botanical Chajjter. 


If the Agassiz Association liail never 
accomplished anything besides what has been 
done dining the past six months in Professor 
Gtittenberg's conrse in mineralogy, all the 
efforts in its behali" would have been well 
rewarded. No fewer than five hundred vol- 
untary students have taken this admirable 
course, which places actual specimens in the 
hands of each pupil, and requires of each 
personal experimental observation and inde- 
pendent thought. Under date of April i, 
Professor Guttenberg writes: "Your kind 
notices concerning my couise in mineralogy 
have had good results, especially the notice in 
the Popular Science News. The edition 
of five hundred lesson pamphlets — -each 
accompanied by a case of mineial specimens' 
and simple instruments — is already exhausted. 
I had not intended to go beyond that number, 
for the work really takes more time than I 
can well spare ; but I iiave received latelv 
letters which speak in so high terms of the 
course, and others expressing so great dis- 
appointment at its limitation, that I have 
resolved to issue another edition as soon as I 
shall have finished my work on the third 
grade, which will be by May i. I am also _ 
much pleased with Santa Claus. The 
paper, so fidl of bright things, cannot fail 
to be of great interest to the children, and 
must exert a good influence. I only wish 
that more space than the two pages could he 
given to the Agassiz Association." 

Vol.. XXIV. No. 6.] 





Chapter 46, of Walpole, Mass., is siifler- 
ing temporarily from the dispersion of its 
leading members ; but it is worth while to 
note the places to which these members have 
gone. The President left to become a teacher 
of science in the Taunton High School ; the 
Vice President to become an instructor in 
chemistry in the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology ; the Secretary to assume the 
superintendence of the chemical factory of 
W^illiam H. Swift & Co., Boston; a fourth 
member is superintendent of the Wal|)ole 
Chemical Company ; the fifth is superin- 
tendent of schools in Westborough ; and the 
sixth is a senior in the Institute of Technol- 
ogy. " ]iy their fruits ye shall know them" 
may apply to societies as well as to individ- 

No one, however young, who has once 
been led to study any natural science in the 
natural — and therefore right — manner, /. e., 
by means of his own senses and faculties, can 
ever be satisfied with that futile attempt at 
education known as rote-teaching. Probably 
no one who has been for six months a mem- 
ber of any live Chapter of the A. A. will 
ever sit contentedly before a teacher who 
imdertakes to teach him natural history by 
the ear alone. The ver^ spirit of our Asso- 
ciation is a constant protest against mere 
book-work. The A. A. does not foster docil- 
ity, but promotes intelligence. It is diamet- 
rically opposed to dogmatism of every sort, 
(iradgrinds who try to use Agassi/, boys and 
girls as pitchers into which to pour a stale 
decoction of facts, will find that they have 
undertaken a difiicult task. The following 
extract from a letter written by a bright 
schoolboy, whose name is, of course, not 
given, illustrates this forcibly, and is only a 
sample of hundreds which prove to our satis- 
faction that the methods of the A. A. lead to 
freedom and independence of thought. 

"Mineralogy will be our principal study. 
I hope to get the greater part of the two 
higher classes of the school into our Chapter 
before we begin, as we shall take up a .sys- 
tematic course in mineralogy, of which I 
shall liave charge. I shall also try to bring 
it about that natural history be given up in 
this school, for I know from myself that the 
hour now devoted to that is the one in which 
we all feel least interest. Thus we had, for 
instance, the 'Monkey Tribe' as a topic. A 
chart was hung up containing pictures of the 
different species. Then the teacher either 
read all about the monkeys, or else wrote a 
long essay about them on the blackboard, 
which we then had to copy and learn by 

heart for the next lesson. This, you will see, 
is the way a boy becomes averse to this hour 
— always dreading it. Now, if this hour be 
given up during the school session, and taken 
every Friday evening among us boys, where 
there are no ceremonies to he gone tlirougJi 
with before a question can be asked, and 
where we have only voluntary members, I 
will wager that each pupil, while he may 
know nothing of the booki will know all 
about the ?nonkcys at the end of a month ; 
while, by the present metliod, he knows at 
the end of a 3ear almost as little, even of the 
book, as he knew at the beginning, and about 
the animals — nothint;." 

I wii.i. send eggs, minerals, fossils, snakes, 
or anything I can find in Southern ("alifornia, 
in exchange for books on astronomy. — Geo. 
HoYT, El Modena, Cal. 

Minerals, fossils, woods, Indian relics, 
and various papers, for minerals or stamps. 
— L. L. Lewis, Drawer 107, Copenhagen, 
N. Y. ^^ 


It gives us pleasure to record the accession 
of a number of new Chapters. In presenting 
the following addresses, we would suggest 
that our Chapters send to these new friends 
letters of welcome. They will all be very 
glad to receive suggestions regarding methods 
of Chapter work, the conduct of meetings, 
planning of excursions, etc. 

No. of 
No. Name. Woinbcrs 

210 HarriHtiuiK, Penn. A li 

Wllliain lleiKii'-r, 3 S- Kront St. 

Ml Bumilo, N. Y. E ; 24 

Ainadciirt (Irnliau, l.%4 Maple St. (CttrreitpondiHg 
Gentoffical Cttiipfer.) 

212 Indepnxlenee, lo. A ... (> 

Jolin I! Uelstir. 

532 Toronto, Canada. (; II 

W. H. JlrNahn, 4 Haivanl Ave. 

3f4 West lirlilKCwater, Mass. A 20 

MlHH Alice It. Tower, liox 74. 

89 NewVork.NV. C .5 

MlB« Cinicc Knpfer, 123 E 78tli .St. 

4% Dorcliestcr, Mass. A I.') 

Miss Cora Sti<-knoy, Louilianl St. (Asliiiiont 
Hall Chapter.) 

578 Inillanapolls, Ind. I) fl 

Walter S. Uolililns, 12 W. North St. 

732 St. I.ollia, Mo. F (i 

Wni. A. BramlenhurKer, 2348 Hickory St. 

8 Molille.Ala. A 4 

Miss Mary M. Friend, 3.V) (iovcrnnient .St. 

18 Sauk Centre, Minn. A 8 

llaiTy Tobey. 

31 North Amherst, (J. A 10 

Arthur J. Earl, Box .Vi. 

.W Plillailelphia, Penn. D 4 

M1.1S May C. Kri(^k, 1714 Franklin St. 

502 San Anjfclo, Tex. It 9 

Mrs. C. K. Stenger. 

83 Portland, Me. A 6 

Daniel E. Kerr, 28 Emerson St. 

71 Plalnville, Conn. A 27 

Itrayton S. Lewis, Itox 172. 

S3 North Canaan, Conn. A 20 

Joseph S. Adam, Es(i. 

22!) Littleton, Col. A 4 

Hohert K. Hill. 

SKI Far llockawav, N. Y. A (i 

IJrhlgliani Curtis, eare Dr. Edward Curtis, 120 
Itroadway, New Yoik Clly. 

108 New Itritain, Conn. A l!l 

,Io». E. Marvin, State Normal S(;hool. 

110 Elgin, III. A 8 

.lames l>an>rcrflelil, .Jr., 248 Summit St. 

128 Eaton, O A 4 

Clem Reynolds. (Preble Co ) 


Reports from the Sixth Century (Chapters 
501-600) should reach the President byjuly i. 

The programme for the annual Convention 
of the Massachusetts Assembly, called at 
Fitchburg, May 30, is as follows : 

1. Address ot Welcome. . Rev. Wiliiain H. Pierson, of Chapter 

[4S, Kitchburg: 

2. Response A. H. Hall, President Massachusetts Assenddy 

3. Address — "The Agassi/, Association" H. II. Ballard 

4. Address—" ThcStudyof Botany ".Prof. p> Adams Ilartweli 

5. Comnlunications from otlier Asseinbiies. 

6. Reports from Chapters of the Assemblj'. 

7. Annual Business Meeting. 
S. Repoits of Officers. 

At the close of the Convention, 2.30 P. M., excursion's to 
VVachusett Mountain, Rollston Hill, and Pearl Hill. 

At tlie time of this writing, it is too early 
to state whether this pi-ogramme has been 
exactly carried out, but the Assembly pro- 
poses to issue a full report of its proceedings 
in a neat pamphlet, one copy of which will 
be sent dec to each Assembly Chapter. The 
price to those outside will be 3> cents. The 
pamphlet will also include a iiistory of the 
Assembly, its constitution, list of members, 
and list of officers for 1890-91. Every Chap- 
ter in Massachusetts is cordially invited to 
unite with the Assembly. The annual fee is 
50 cents " Q^r each ten members or fraction 
thereof." Letters of inquiry should be sent 
to Mr. H. M. Ballon, Sec, 13 Claremont 
Park, Boston. 

We give the following schedule, not only 
to show the admirable work of the Barton 
Chapter, but also as a suggestion to all other 
Chapters of what they may undertake with 


nOSTON (U), MASS., 1SS9.9O. 

Chemhml Elements Mi-s. Lowery 

Physieal Pn)pertles Mrs. Aloore 

Mrs. Boyd 

G. II. liartcin 

Mr. Kay 









Doc. 30. 









Mai- 3 

Mar. 17. 

Mar. 31. 


Apr. 21. 

May r>. 

Haniness } 

Struct lire i 

Crystal I ography 

C ranlte 

Spe<*imen8 (let. riiilned by class. 

Kinds of Qu.irtz Miss Perry 

Uses of Quartz Mrs. Tower 

Kinds anil uses of Feldspar Mr Norils 

Kinds and us(S ot Mica Miss Woods 

KIndr. and uses of Hornblende (Ainpldboie) 

Mr. Moulton 
Accessory minerals of Granite — Class Exercise 

What Is made from Granite j Sand 

( Conglomerate 

Jlr. Ballon 

How (jirjvnitc was made Mrs. Boyd 

Allleil rocks. Syenite, Diabase, Dlorlte,ete. 

G. II. Barton 

Story of a coral animal Mrs. Fuller 

Kinds of Caicltcs (Marbles 

Kinds of Doiondto 

Limestone not formed by animal life. 

Compare Calcite and r>oloinite.....\lr9. 1.owery 

Story of a cave IMrs. Kainsay 

Accessory minerals Class 

KBxIs of Gypsum I 

Formation of Gypsum ( 

Story of Salt Mines Miss Cher. Ington 

How Is Salt formed i' Class 

(Questions on differen(« between minerals mid 


Ores of Iron Mrs. Noriis 

LlmonitB, llcmntltc, Magnetite, Pjrltltc, and 


Lake Superior Mines (history) Miss Ilamniett 

Copper, Sliver, c;alenite. 

Other Copper Ores Class 

Silver; mines; how prt^pared for use 

Gold; mines; how prepared for use.. Miss Little 

..Studied by Class 

-Mr R. P. Williams 



[June, 1S90. 

May 19. Tin ; Iiow prep;\re() for use I j, p 

Zinc; how prepared for use ( ' 

June 2. Story of a fern , Coal Master Weed 

.Story of a diamond Dr. D. F. J.lneoln 

June 1*J. Soapstone, uses and liow mined 

Other miiieral.s asiied for by class 

June .30. General review. 


The " Hill and Dale Club" is composed 
of Chapters and members of the Agassi z 
Association living within a radius of fifty 
miles of Elizabeth, N. J. Its purpose is to 
lea^ its membei's on a systematic series of 
excui\sions to such points of interest as can 
be visited in a single day. Since March 
39 the Club has visited Fort Lee, Belle- 
ville, Bergen Hill, Castle Point, Newark, 
O'Roui-ke's Quarry at Orange, and Farming- 
dale, all in New Jersey, and New Rochelle, 
Van Cortland, and Fordham, in New York. 

The next excursion is set down for Satur- 
day, June 7, when the Club will visit 
Metuchen, N. J., to investigate the clay-pits, 
and to make botanical reseaiches, under the 
guidance of Rev. L. H. Lighthipe, President 
of the New Jersey Assembly. It is proposed 
to take the train on the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road, for which New York passengers must 
leave the foot of Coiu'tland street at* 9.30 
A. M. The fare for the round trip is $1.35. 

On June 14, Mr. T. G. White will con- 
duct the excursionists on a botanical and 
entomological trip to Richmond Hill, N. Y. 
The Club will meet at Long Island ferry- 
house; foot of E. 34th street, at 10.30 A. M. 
Fare, 40 cents. 

On June 21, under the care of Miss E. 
M. Watcis, of the Plainfield Fi-anklin School, 
and via the Central Railroad of New Jersey, 
(Liberty street. New York, 8.45 A. M.), an 
interesting botanical excursion will be made 
to Plainfield, N. J. Exclusion fai'e, $1.00. 

The last excursion of the month is to be 
on June 38. Destination, Paterson, N. J. 
This will be geological, and led by Mr. G. 
S. Stanton, via Delaware, Lackawanna & 
Western Railroad, Baiclay street, 9.00 A. M. 
Faie, 70 cents. 

To all of these excursions all members of 
the A. A. are coi'dially invited. 

20, Fairfield, la., [A]. — Along with the general 
prosperity of Iowa Chapters, we have not been 
neglected. During the summer we profited by the 
presence of two of our leading members, who had 
just completed their medical education, and were 
qualified to give us some very interesting lectures. 
They prepared and articulated the skeleton of a 
horse and presented it to the Chapter. I refer to 
Dr. J. Fred. Clarke, now resident physician in the 
Hospital of the City of Philadelphia, and Dr. C. C. 
Cottle, now practicing at Marshalltown, Iowa. We 
have also had with us, during a large part of the 
year, another of our charter members, John G. 
Spielman, C. E. We were well represented at the 
sixth annual Convention of the Iowa Assembly, 
where we won the second diploma. — Carrie Lam- 
son, Pres. ; Bhula West, Sec. 

27, "High School Naturalists," Pittsburgh, Pa., 
[A]. — Our Chapter is divided into three sections — 
botanists, zoologists, and mineralogists. The bota- 
nists meet once a week, and have devoted their time 
thus far to mounting and arranging the plants in 
the "Naturalists'" herbarium. Today they under- 
t6ok their first collecting trip. The expectation of 
discoveries was not so great as the impatience to see 
something green and to sniff the spring air. Some 
hepaticas, Virginia saxifrage, rue-anemone, whit- 
low-grass, and, of course, dandelions and chickweed, 
were found in blossom. Woodpeckers and robins 
were seen. Rotten stumps yielded large black 
wood-beetles, different species of centipedes, co- 
coons, ants, spider-nests, beetle-larva;, and other 
creatures. All were eager to collect anything that 
showed or promised life. Even an immense bumble- 
bee was discovered, just rubbing his eyes and sleep- 
ily looking out into the world. Thus it was not a 
bad day, after all. The zoologists have each an 
animal or a group of animals assigned to them for 
study; they make their reports at the monthly 
meetings. "The American Pearl Clam" was one 
of the interesting papers read at the March meeting, 
and beautiful specimens of the shells (a species of 
unio) and pearls were exhibited. The mineralo- 
gists study Prof. Guttenberg's course. A committee 
is now busy preparing for a spring meeting of the 
society, to which all the members of the Higli 
School will be invited. — G. G. 

29, Barton Chapter, Boston, Mass., [U]. — We are 
still alive, and just as enthusiastic as ever. The 
year 1S89 has been very prosperous. We have, at 
present, thirty-seven active, members — eight more 
than at the time of our last report. We have held 
twenty-three meetings this year; the one which 
occurred on the 17th of June we made an all-d.iy 
excursion to Waverly Oaks, a charming spot within 
a few miles of Boston. We voted that hereafter we 
would keep this day for our field d.ay. In January 
we began a systematic course in botany, under the 
direction of Mr. J. H. Sears, of the Peabody Acad- 
emy of Science, Salem, Mass.- Papers were read by 
our members — for we were fortunate in having a 
number of botanists. Mr. Sears gave us three 
talks during the course. Our members living out 
of town kept us supplied with flowers. The season 
seemed to I'avor us, also, for wild flowers bloomed 
very early. This course finished witii the last meet- 
ing before the sutnmer vacation, June 24th. At 
this meeting it. was decided to begin to work for 
future cabinets, so different members were chosen to 
take charge of difterent departments. We bid fair 
to have a fine herbarium, and good scientific collec- 
tions of beetles, minerals, rocks, fossils, and shells. 
In the spring we started a set of "outings" for 
Saturdays and holidays. We sold season tickets at 
fifty cents to those who did not care to join the 
Chapter work, but wished the benefit of the outings. 
We always had some object in view — either geology, 
zoology, or botany. We -had twenty-one outings 
during the spring and fall, and one of our greatest 
benefits was the promotion of kindly feeling between 
the Chapter members. One of our most enjoyable 
days was spent at Fitchburg, Mass., on April 30, 
when Prol". E. A. llartwell showed us the beauties 
of RoUstone and Pearl Hills, and Mr. F. A. Marble 
kindly gave us the use of the rooms of Chapter 48. 
We held no meetings during July, August, and Sep- 
tember, but our members did not forget to work for 
the Chapter. Fossils came from Waterloo, N. Y., 
Illustraling the Sallna, Chemung, and Hamilton 
groups. Moths and beetles were searched for with 
cyanide jars under electric lights. Two of our 
members hunted in that enchanted field for mineral- 
ogists in the vicinity of Paris, Me., and came home 

laden with pink and green tourmaline, albite, mus- 
covite, lepidolite, quartz crystals, greasy and rose 
quartz, triphylite, cookeite, cimolite, cassiterite, and 
beryl. Another member visited Nova Scotia, in the 
vicinity of Blomldon. Our first meeting in the fall 
was held on October 7, when the Chapter unani- 
mously voted to take up the study of geology for 
this year's work. Our Committee of Instruction 
laid out a course based somewhat on the plan of 
Master H. L. Clapp's book, No. XV. in "Guides for 
Science Teaching," only our plan is very much 
more thorough, as that was meant for a class of 
children, while our Chapter is composed of adults. 
The first meeting was devoted to the chemical ele- 
ments contained in minerals; the next meeting to 
physical properties, structure, hardness, etc. ; the 
third to crystallography, Mr. George H. Barton, of 
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, givlni,' 
this talk, illustrating the subject fully with models. 
Then began our work. Specimens of difterent kinds 
of granite were given out, one to each member, 
with a card explaining "I Ian for Study," for each 
to tell what he or she found in his or her specimen. 
No names were called for — simply how many differ- 
ent kinds of minerals each found, and the general 
characteristics. At the next meeting each member 
reported. Then came a meeting devoted to quartz 
(all kinds) and feldspar (all kinds), showing the 
constituents of binary granite. We had papers on 
the uses as well as the kinds, to bring In the practi- 
cal side. At our next meeting we have mica and 
hornblende (amphibole family), to sjiow tlie kinds 
of granite. Then we shall give out all the accessory 
minerals found in granite, to be studied just as the 
granite specimens were. Then will come the allied 
rocks of the inore basic order — syenite, diorlte, dia- 
base, etc. Other rocks will be taken up in the 
same way, and we hope before next June we shall 
know something of the foundation beneath us. 
(^lestions are alw.iys given out on the subject of the 
evening to be answered at the next meeting. If 
any Chapter thinks this plan helpful, we should be 
glad to pass it along; also our botany plan of last 
year. We have three members who are taking 
Prof. Guttenberg's course in mineralogy, two Prof 
Cassedy's course in chemistry, and one Mr. Alex. 
Wight's course in botany-. On Fast Day, April 4, 
we spent a very enjoyable and profitable afternoon 
at the observatory on Blue Hill, Milton, Mass. Mr. 
H. H. Cla3'ton explained very minutely and clearly 
the workings of the meteorological instruments 
used in taking observations at the observatory. 
We note in the observations recorded by the Chap- 
ter that hepatica was picked as early as March 27, 
and late as November 4, 18S9. Pansies were picked 
in open air In Hyde Park on December 25. We 
have joined the Massachusetts Assembly, and hope 
to meet delegates from all the Massachusetts Chap- 
ters at the next General Convention. — Mrs. R. S. 
Beaman, Pres. ; Ella F. Boyd, Cor. Sec. 
, _^», ■-. 

Friction Caused iiv Electricity. — A curious 
phenomenon, in virtue of which electric cars are 
aided in ascending heavy gr-ides, is alluded to by 
Joseph Wetzler in his article on "The Electric 
Railway" in the April Scribiier. This phenome- 
non, which was probably first observed by Leo 
Daft, at his works in Greenville, N. J., in 1S82, is, 
that, when the current passes from the car wheel to 
the track, it causes an increased friction or resist- 
ance to sliding between them, the result of which is 
that slipping is to a large degree prevented, and 
heavier grades can be attempted. The explanation 
of this phenomenon, though not completely estab- 
lished, seems to lie in the direction of a slight weld- 
ing action which takes place between the wheel anil 
the rail, caused by the heat generated by the current. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 6.] 



Slje Popular Science I^ews. 


I, 1890. 



. Associate Editor. 

It is with the deepest regret and a sense of 
personal loss that we announce to our readers 
the death of Dr. John Crowell, of Haver- 
hill, Mass., after a long and painful illness 
K resulting from heart trouble. Dr. Crowell 
V was an old and valued contributor to the 
W Science News, and was one of the inost 
respected members of the community, not 
only for his eminent skill and success in the 
practice of his profession, but for his artistic 
and literal}' attainments, on which subjects 
he was a critic whose opinions were deserv- 
edly valued. Dr. Crowell was sixt^-six years 
of age, and had practiced medicine in his 
native city of Haverhill for nearly forty years. 

By what name the present age is likely to 
be known to our remote posterity, it would be 
rash to predict, so enormous is the develop- 
ment in various departments of art and 
industry ; but, in comparison with preceding 
ages, it might, from our immediate point of 
view, be well designated as the '' Engineering 
Age." Certainly the recent and the prospec- 
tive achievements in this line throw far into 
the shade the most famous exploits of en- 
gineering in the past, even if we go no 
farther back than the middle of the present 
century. The Eiflel Tower doubled at one 
bound, as it were, the structures that 
man had reared ; and most of them — like the 
Egyptian pyramids and the Strasburg spire 
— belonged to a period several centuries or 
many centuries distant, " in the dark back- 
ward and abysm of time." And now we are 
told that EitVel and Edison propose to build a 
tower 1 ,500 feet high for the coming World's 
Fair at Chicago ! The great bridges of our 
day are even more conspicuous illustrations 
of the audacity of modern engineers. The 
Brooklyn bridge, with its clear span of 
1,595 '"2 feet, was an amazing feat ; and. the 
Forth bridge, with its two cantilever spans of 
1,700 feet each, now just completed, is, in 
some respects, far more stupendous. But 
the appetite for triumphs like these appears 
to grow with what it feeds upon, and the 
engineer seeks new and greater worlds to 
conquer. Plans have just been made for a 
railroad bridge across the Hudson at New 
York witli a span of 3,850 feet, or more than 
half a mile; and it is quite probable that 
it will be built. Its extreme length, includ- 
ing anchorages, will be 6,500 feet, that of the 
Brooklyn bridge being 3,700 ; and the height 
of tlic towers supporting the cables is to be 
500 feet, the Brooklyn ones being 272. The 
dimensions of some portions and the amount 
of material required will be immensely 

greater. The cables, for instance, will be 48 
inches in diameter instead of 15 1-2, and the 
weight of iron and steel in the structure will 
be 60,000 tons instead of 6,750. The cost, 
exclusive of land damages, is estimated at 
sixteen millions of dollars, and the time 
required for construction at ten years. What 
bigger and bolder enterprises in bridge- 
making may be planned by the time this one 
is finished, who will venture to guess.'' It 
would seem that the possible limits of span 
are nearly reached here, and that the great 
bridges of the twentieth century can only be 
longer and costlier works of the same general 
character. Yet who knows .-^ 

The circulars of the various summer 
schools are flying through the land, thick as 
the leaves in Vallombrosa ; and the number 
and the scope of these institutions are still on 
the increase. Several of the colleges are fol- 
lowing the example of Harvard in providing 
for this vacation study ; and a new feature at 
Hanard — in addition to the schools for 
chemistry, physics, botany, geology, physical 
training, etc. — is the opening of summer 
courses in the Medical School. No less than 
thirty-eight distinct courses are described in 
the circular issued by the university authori- 
ties. They begin at various dates between 
June 3 and August iS, — most of them about 
July I, — and end between July 7 and October 
3. Tlie length of the courses is from four to 
eight weeks, with lectures or lessons from 
two to six times weekly. Certificates of 
attendance are to be given to students who 
desire them. Summer schools in theology, 
or at least in Hebrew and New Testament 
Greek, have been held for some years. 
Whether there is a summer school of law we 
have not heard. The attendance at the old 
and well established schools increases from 
year to year, notwithstanding the multiplica- 
tion of schools. At the Martha's Vineyard 
Summer Institute, for instance, the attend- 
ance last year was 350, the largest up to that 
time ; and the Harvard courses were never so 
successful as last summer. It is evident that 
these vacation schools meet a widespread 
want ; and we believe that, in the vast major- 
ity of cases, all that is sacrificed in playtime 
is gained b}- the teacher in the increased ease 
and comfort with which the work of the rest 
of the year can be done. 

In these wicked and scientific days, when 
adulteration and sophistication are alleged to 
be as rife as dangerous germs and microbes, 
when nature and art seem to conspire to 
poison our food and drink and our peace of 
mind, we have found a modicum of comfort 
in the conviction that the egg of the barnyard 
fowl was happily exempt from the intrusion 
of microscopical organisms, just as when 
boiled it was safe from the ordinary vicissi- 

tudes of bad or uncleanly cookery. Nature, 
it was assumed, had secured it against the 
attacks of her infinitude of infinitesimal 
mischief-makers; and no culinary slovenli- 
ness could mar it when boiled and served in 
the "original package." Its purity was as 
irreproachable as that of Caisar's wife, and 
one might eat it without fear or doubt any- 
where on earth. We hesitate even now to 
give up our faith in this forlorn hope of the 
tourist and the traveller ; but a foreign pro- 
fessor, presumably Russian, with the disa- 
greeable name of Podvisotzki, is reported to 
have "discovered in the gray or greenish- 
gray spots often to be found on the white of 
eggs the presence of colonies of various 
coccidii," and these, he thinks, may be the 
means of transmitting " psoropremia" to 
man. We will not explain what this disease 
is, lest some nervous reader who has break- 
fasted on eggs shoidd at once imagine that he 
(or she) has got it. Our professor with the 
polysyllabic, much-consonanted name coolly 
adds that "there will be nothing surprising 
shon.ld anyone discover, some of these days, 
the bacillus tuberculosis" in eggs. Heaven 
forbid ! It is a relief to be assured tliat 
thorough boiling is fatal to the dreadful 
coccidii. But the reputation of raw or 
imperfectly cooked eggs is hopelessly com- 
promised, if we may believe this Muscovite. 
Our temperance friends will recognize the 
possible point to be made against indulgence 
in egg-nog — at least until somebody proves 
that alcohol, like heat, does not agree with 
the malignant coccidii. 

A RECENT writer believes that he sees 
evidence of increasing progress in the adop- 
tion of the metric system in the industrial 
arts, both in Europe — in Spain, Austria, 
Turkey, England, and elsewhere — and on 
this side of the Atlantic, in Brazil and other 
South American countries. No doubt it is 
gradually commending itself to practical men, 
as it had already done to men of science ; 
but the advance is, nevertheless, exceedingly 
slow. Among medical practitioners in this 
country, we are inclined to think that very 
little progress has been made in recent years. 
We know of more than one physician who, 
five or six years ago, had prescription-blanks 
printed in the metrical form, and used them 
for a considerable time, but finally gave them 
up because they were not popular with the 
druggists, and sometimes led to mistakes and 
confusion. A committee of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science 
has recently issued an address to the profes- 
sions of medicine and pharmacy, and to the 
medical and pharmaceutical colleges of this 
country and Canada, urging the adoption of 
the metric system in the foithcoming edition 
of tlie United States Pharmacopeia ; but a 
leading medical journal remarks: "It may 



[June, 1890- 

be expedient for the Pharmacopooial commit- 
tee to comply with this suggestion, but we 
warn them that, if they wish to escape gen- 
eral complaint, they must couple every metric 
expression with its equivalent according to 
the system now in use ; no mere table of 
equivalents will be satisfactory." We have 
no doubt that this voices the Sfeneral feelin<j 
of the medical profession. Tlie time lias not 
come for substituting the new system for the 
old in the PharmacopoMa, but it is good 
policy to put the two side by side. This will 
gradually "educate" physicians and drug- 
gists to the merits of tlie metric S3stem, and 
be a stepping-stone to its complete adoption 
in "the good time coming:." 


In the Department of Arveiron, near the 
town of Montpellier-le-Vieux, in France, 
occur some remarkable geological formations 
illustrating the effect of erosion, and dupli- 
cating, on a small scale, the familiar forma- 
Hons of Colorado in this country. 

J-L- I I — J l , illiij i jn jaagjiti s a ai'^ " 1 1 11 i iI M I ^MI ■■ L_U.J" B I! I S!Ma'"!y g 

Fig. I. 

These formations are described and illus- 
trated in La Nature by M. Mautei,, who 
has explored this comparatively unknown 
region quite thoroughly. The surface rock 
is of limestone and dolomite, and the eiosion 
is probably due more to the action of water 
and frost than to the mechanical action of 
wind-blown sand, which has carved out so 
many fantastic figures among the Rocky 

The natural bridge shown in Fig. i is 
about ten feet high and eighteen wide, with a 
minimum thickness of about two feet in the 
rock composing the arch overhead. A cart- 
path traversing the locality passes through 
the arch, thus saving a considerable distance. 

In Fig. 2 a more extensive view of this 
savage region is given, showing the shapes 
into which the rock has been carved, which 
closely imitate the ruins of an ancient city. 
The resemblance is increased by the fact that 
many of the formations are pierced entirely 
through by natural agencies, thus imitating 
doors and windows. In the foreground 
stands a column, or natural obelisk, forty-five 
feet high ; and the surrounding scenery is 

Fig. 2. 

said to he of the wildest and most fantastic 
description. A natural dungeon is found at 
one place, and one mass of rock is pierced in 
two places so as to form an excellent figure 
of a camel. Numerous otlicr columns, simi- 
lar to the one shown in tlie engraving, also 
occur ; and, from M. Martel's description, it 
would seem that the locality was well worthy 
the attention of geologists. 

[Special Correspondence ot Popular Scinirp Xt'irs.l 

No very important scientific question is Iicing at 
present discussed in our circles; even Brown- 
Scquard's experiments are somewhat neglected, and 
few persons ciioose to investigate ttie matter. Each 
one works in his department, and at present nothing 
startling has been recently started. It proves a 
good moment for the perusal of Renan's last book 
on the " Future of Science." This book was written 
in 184S, and various circumstances have delayed its 
appearance. It must be confessed that it is of more 
interest to the historian than to the scientist — the 
experimenter. However, it is, of course, very 
pleasantly written and largely thought, so that it is 
really a suggestive book. 

Darwinism is slowly getting on in France. 
Thirty years have now elapsed since the publica- 
tion of Origin, and the clamours are somewhat 
abated. One cannot howl thirty, years; and, in 
fact, if only a theory contains some trutli, time 
ensures its acceptance, however badly it may have 
been received at first. But in France, queerly 
enough, the Darwinian ideas are gaining silently. 
Save two or three writers, who, in some papers, 
(Revue Scientijique interalia), now and then make 
their readers cognizant of prpgress recently achieved 

in this department of science abroad (especially in 
England and the United States) ; and save some 
ultra-radical politicians, who think that Darwinism, 
materialism, and so forth, are the same thing, an<i 
who foolishly and ignorantly twaddle in theories 
they hardly understand and thoroughly misapply, — 
the young naturalists seem to keep their ideas to 
themselves. The reason is not a difficult one to 
find. The officials are not in favor of Darwinism, 
and it is better to keep aloof — in appearance — from 
the unwelcome doctrine. But, certainly, when some 
of them are no more, Darwinism will be flourishing. 
Darwinian books are being translated in French; 
Wallace's Darwinism, Romane's Menial Kvoliition in 
Man, Gedde's Evolution of Sex, and others, will 
shortly come out. and stimulate the dispersal of 
Darwinian thought. 

Amateur photography — to pass from philosophi- 
cal grounds to very practical pursuits — thrives 
splendidly in France. The number of amateurs is 
gaining every day, as a result of the numerous and 
cheap instruments which have been devised for 
them, and they really do the thing well. Special 
reviews and books have proved necessary, in order 
to allow them to keep abreast with the progress of 
science, or art; for it must be noticed that they hate 
routine, and want the very latest methods and 
improvements. One of the best makers of photo- 
graphic apparalus, M. Fleury Hermagis, has just 
written one of these books, — and a capital one it is, 
— under the title of Traite des Ivxciirsinns Pholo- 
graphiqites, which is specially offered to travelling 
amateurs, and contains sound advice on the techni- 
cal part of the operatipns — the whole is described in 
the very minutest detail — and on the artistic side of 
the question. This is a very important part of the 
subject. Photographs are exact, of course, but thcv 
may be made artistic without any alteration of 
truth. This book, published by the Societe de Edi- 
tions Scientifiqiies, meets with a great success, and, 
if your readers are also photographo-philes, it would 
certainly prove interesting and useful to a great 

The transactions of the 1S89 international scien- 
tific meetings in Paris are appearing in turn. The 
last ones I have met with are those of the congres 
of hygiene, zoology, and colonial matters. It is a 
pity that the different transactions are published by 
any variety of publishers, in dilTerent sizes, on dif- 
ferent paper, and with different types. In 1S7S all 
the transactions of the thirty-two or thirty-six scien- 
tific meetings were published by the same printer, 
— the state printing-office, — and this uniformity was 
very pleasant to the eye. There is a good deal of 
useless matter, if not rubbish, in the hygiene trans- 
actions. Ilygienists love to hear their own voice ; 
they are addicted to over-elegant language ; they 
have literary pretensions. In scientific matters, 
clearness is the suitable literary quality. The 
zoological transactions are good, and contain mucli 
useful information and discussion. The two main 
documents are the report of M. Fischer on geo- 
graphical distribution and of M. R. Blanchard on 
zoological nomenclature. M. Fischer's task con- 
sisted mainly in calling the attention of the 230 
zoologists assembled in Paris to the points which 
present the most interest in the line of distribution, 
ancient and present; on the insular faunas, espec- 
ially when the Islands considered arc far from all 
main land, and have, most likely, never been con- 
nected with it, (such as volcanic islands, of which 
the Hawaiian group affords a very interesting sam- 
ple) ; on zoological connections — paleontological 
and actual — between Northern America and North- 
ern Europe; on the extinct race of horses in the 
United States; on Wallace's line in the Malay 
Archipelago, etc. M. Fischer's report is a very able 

Vol.. XXIV. No. 6.] 



document, which should be attentively read by all 
zoologists setting off for some distant scientific 
expedition, in order to learn which points — besides 
those they intend to stud^' — are of general interest, 
and which call for facts and documents supple- 
mentary to those already obtained. Since Darwin's 
views have been made known, many points in 
natural history have acquired a leading interest, 
and those to whicii M. Fischer alludes are promi- 
nent among all for the theory of dispersion, varia- 
tion, and natural selection. M. R. Blanchard's very 
elaborate report is also a very useful one. Unfortu- 
nately, the meeting was not able to discuss it 
thoroughly, ancl in 1892, at the next meeting, the 
discussion is to be resumed. Steps must be taken, 
by a common action of all zoologists of note and 
repute, to prevent some maniacs from constantly 
altering the names of the oldest known species, 
under the pretense that they are revising the group 
or family, as the case may be, and confusing all 
zoological notions. The example has, unfortu- 
nately, been set by a great authority — by Linnieus, 
who renovated the whole nomenclature. The ten- 
dency is now to do away with many of the names 
be has imposed, and to revert to the former ones, 
and it is fair the thing should be done. 

Psychologists will be interested in reading a small 
work by Guyau on the origin of the idea of time, 
and another by Tissie on dreams generally consid- 
ered. Both of these books have been issued by 
Alcan in Paris, who has also published a work by 
Lombroso on criminal anthropology. Lombroso is 
the head of an Italian school of psychologists who 
hold that criminals belong to a definite abnormal 
anthropological type, and constitute a human 
variety. His ideas are but very reservedly accepted 
in France. 

One more book I must signal on modern chemis- 
trv, by A. Trehault, on the comp.nrison of the 
atomic theory with the equivalent notation. The 
author discusses freely the advantages and incon- 
veniencies of both systems, and concludes in favor 
of the atomic notation, as might well be expected. 


Paris, April 22, 1S90. 


[SpLcially Olisirved for I'oputar Stirnee Xeini.] 



At 7 A. M 41.7/ 

At 3 r. M S1.yo" 

At 9 1-. M , 4j.5i' 

Wholu Mmilli ... J 46.7^' 

Seconil Average . . .1 45.92" 

Last 20 Aprils . . . .; 45.0^1° 

Second Average . . . 44.38° 

l..owest. Highest. Range. 



' in 1874. 



ill 1S7S. i 
50.0 1- 




The month has been warmer than usual, and 
remarkably fair for April. The lowest point reached 
by the mercury, at the hours of observation, was 
30' , on the morning of the 2d and evening of the 
5th. The highest was 72", .gn the 23d. The first 
day was the coolest, with an average of 36.33°; the 
2d was nearly the same. The 24th was the warmest 
day, averaging 63". The 23CL and 30th were also 
warm days. The entire month was 1.69° warmer 
than the mean of the last twenty Aprils, which give 
a ratige of 12.44', as shown above. The lowest 
daily range was only 2", on the 9th ; the highest 
24^', on the 6th. The excess of heat since January 
I has been 503°, a daily mean of 4.19" — a remarka- 
ble excess for the first third of the year. 

The face of the sky, in 90 observations, gave 63 
fair, only 5 cloudy, 16 overcast, and 6 rainy, — a per- 

centage of 70 fair, the highest in the last twenty Mass. 
Aprils. The average fair in April has been only study. 
4S.5, with extremes of 32.2 in 1S7S, and 70 in 1890 
and 1S72. The sky was (air, almost without inter- 
ruption, from the nth to the 23d; — remarkable for 
showery April. 


The amount of precipitation the past month, 
including 2 inches of melted snow, (which fell on 
the first morning), was 2 66 inches, while the aver- 
age for the last twenty-two Aprils has been 3 87 
inches, with extremes of 1.20 in 1869, and 850 in 
1870. There was no trace of rain from the loth to 
the 24th. The largest amount at one time was .95 
inch, on the 27th; nearly the same amount fell on 
the 9th. The amount since January i has been 
9 56 inches, which is a little above the mean 
(19 02) for those four months. 


The average pressure the last inonth was 30 044 
inches, with extremes of 29.53 on the 9th and loth, 
and 30.38 on the 2d and 26th, — a range of .85 inch. 
The average for the last seventeen Aprils has been 
29.904, with extremes of 29.767 in 1884, and 30.078 
in 18S6, — a range of .311 inch. The sum of the daily 
variations was 6.10 inches, giving an average daily 
movement of .203 inch. This average the last 
seventeen Aprils has been .178, with extremes of 
.139 and .239. The barometer has been unusually 
high for April, in harmony with the usual fair sky 
in such connection. The largest daily movements 
were .51 inch on the 4th and 5th, and .42 on the 9th 
and 27tli. 


The average direction of the wind the past month 
was W. 41° i' N., ornearly N. W., which is a very 
near average of the last twenty-one Aprils, viz., 
\V. 40"-' 50' N. The extremes have been E. 15° N. 
in 1877, and W. 9" 35' S. in iSSo, — a range of 114" 35' 
from a near N. by E. to W. by S., or nearly ten 
points of the compass. 

In general, the present April has been dis- 
tinguished for a fair sky and high pressure, for 
small precipitation and moderately high tempera- 
ture, which, in connection with a remarkably warm 
winter, has given us a spring about one week earlier 
than the average for the last eleven years. That in 
1886 is the only one earlier than the present. Those 
in 18S3, '84, and '85 were ten or twelve days later 
than the present. 

FOR MARCH, 1890, 

gathered from the Jiiiltetin of the New England 
Meteorological Socitty. The temperature and pre- 
cipitation are presented in the following table. State 
by State, with that of all combined, under the title 
of New England. That of Natick is also subjoined. 
The average temperature of March, at twenty-four 
stations in New England, having records of over ten 
years, is 3 17'^; that of Natick for twenty years is 
32 57". Departures, .9° below and 1.81° above. 
The warmest station in New England was at Salem, 
Mass., 39 3°; the coolest 20", at West Milan, N. II. 
The highest daily point was 73 ", at Taunton, Mass., 
on the 13th ; the lowest — 22*^, at West Milan, on the 
4th ; — a range for March of 95". The greatest pre- 
cipitation reported in New England was 10.31 
inches, at Fall River, Mass. ; the least was 2.54 
inches, at Northfield, Vt. The mean precipitation 
for March at thirty-two stations in New England, 
having records for more than ten years, is 4.04 
inches; that at Natick in twenty-two years is 5.52 
inches; — showing departures the present March 
of -t-2.24 and +4 38 inches. Only two stations in 
New England reported a higher precipitation than 
Natick, viz., P'all liiver, 10.31 inches, and Plymouth, 


inches. The table will bear careful 

































































































































Natick, May 5, 1890. 

D. W. 

[Specially Computed for Popular Science Newx,} 
JUNE, 1S90. 
On the morning of June 3 there will be a lunar 
appulse. The moon will approach very close to the 
shadow of the earth; but, owing to the uncertainty 
of the effect of the earth's atmosphere on the size of 
the shadow, it is doubtful whether the moon will 
be even partially eclipsed. The time of nearest 
approach is about 2 A. M., Eastern Standard time. 
There will be an annular eclipse of the sun on June 
17, which will be invisible in the I'nited States. 
The moon is so far from the earth relative to the 
sun, that its apparent diameter is less than that of 
the sun. The path of annularity begins in the 
Atlantic Ocean, a little north of the equator, runs 
through Northwestern Africa, the Mediterranean, 
and Asia, ending in Siani. The eclipse will be par- 
tial throughout Europe. 

Mercury is a morning star throughout the month, 
and comes to greatest western elongation, 22"^^, on 
June 23. It will not be in very good position for 
observation, however, owing to the fact that it is- 
south of the sun at the time,,and it probably cannot 
be seen before sunrise. Venus is slowly increasing 
in distance from the sun, and is a very conspicuou> 
object in the western sky soon after sunset. At the 
end of the month it sets about two hours after 
sunset. Mars is in fine position for ob.servation. 
It passed opposition on May 27, and it makes itf 
nearest approach to the earth on the night of Junt 
4-5. It will then be about 45.000,000 miles distant. 
At the most favorable oppositions of the planci. 
when it is in perihelion and the earth in aphelion, 
the distance may be less than 36,000,000 miles. 1 1 
is on the meridian, at rather less than 30*-' altitudi . 
about 11.30 P. M. on June i, and at about 9 P. M 
on June 30, and rises about four hours earlier. It i- 
in the constellation Scorpius, and moves westward 
about 7' during the month. On June 12 it passes » 
little south of the second magnitude star IJeli:' 
Scorpii, the distance being about one diameter 01 
the moon. Jupiter rises in the southeast at aboui 
11.30 P. M. on June i, and at about 9 P. M. on Jun.- 
30. It is in the constellation Capricornus, and 
moves westward about 1° during the month. Ura- 
nus is in the constellation Virgo, 2'^ north and i'-.'^ 
east of Spica (Alpha Virginis.) Neptune is in 
Taurus, is a morning star, and is very near the sun 



[June, 1S90. 

The Constellations.— The positions given liold 
good for latitudes differing not many degrees from 
40" north, and for lo P. M. on June i, 9 P. M. on 
June 15, and S P. M. on June 30. Bootes is in tlie 
zenith. Libra is on the southern meridian, about 
halfway up, and Scorpius is a little below and to the 
east of Libra. Sagittarius is on the southeast hori- 
zon. Corona Borealis is near the zenith, to the 
southeast. Hercules is high up in the east, and 
Aquila is below it. Lyra is about halfway from 
horizon to zenith, a little north of east, and Cygnus 
is below Lyra, in the northeast. The bright stars 
in Ihe head of Draco are in the northeast, high up. 
Ursa Minor is on the meridian, mainly between the 
pole and the zenith. Cepheus is a little below and 
to the right of the pole star, and Cassiopeia is near 
the horizon, a little east of north. Auriga is just 
setting, about 20° west of the north point. Ursa 
Major is in the northwest, high up. Gemini is 
setting, a little north of west; Cancer is a little 
above, to the left; Leo is above Cancer, and nearly 
due west. Virgo is in the southwest, about halfway 

Lake Forest, III., May 3, 1890. 



Ilrief cflmmvvi'ations upon suhjects of scientific interest 
will he weicnmed fri'm aity tf/t(irter. Tlie editors do not neces- 
Sftrily indorse all views and statfrnents presented by their 

Editor of Popular Science News: 

An editorial in the current number of the Popu- 
lar Science News notices a disastrous accident 
that occurred while oxygen was being generated in 
a public school at Lexington, Illinois. As I am 
deeply interested in the subject of science teaching 
in public schools, I sincerely regret both the fact of 
such accidents and the publication of them, unac- 
companied by a statement of such precautions as 
will help to prevent their recurrence. 

During the past eight years, each one of more 
than one thousand students — mostly girls — has gen- 
erated oxygen at least eight or ten times in our 
laboratory here, without a single explosion occur- 
ring. Therefore, I hope you may find place in your 
valuable journal for a brief account of how we avoid 
such accidents, in order that all may be encouraged 
in performing such simple school experiments as 
may serve to stimulate the minds of the young with 
facts that enrich intelligence and excite mental 
activity. • 

The explosions that occur while generating oxy- 
gen are usually attributed to charcoal dust as an 
adulteration in the manganic oxide; but a far more 
common source of danger consists in the fact that 
careless druggists sometimes sell "black antimony" 
(antimonic sulphide) for manganic oxide — the two 
resembling each other in being black and pulveru- 
lent. "Black antimony" and potassium chlorate 
are constituents of some exceedingly powerful ex- 
plosives, and any attempt to generate oxygen from 
such a mixture proves disastrous— as the writer 
knows by personal experience. 

In order to avoid the possibility of such accidents, 
a small quantity of the oxygen mixture should be 
heated in an open receptacle — a common tin tea- 
spoon answers the purpose well. If either anti- 
monic sulphide or charcoal be present in dangerous 
proportions, the violent combustion resulting will 
manifest that fact without doing any harm. If all 
materials for generating oxygen be thus tested 
before they are put upon the laboratory shelves, 
there need be no fear of such sad disasters as that at 
Lexington ; for, with such precautions, generating 
oxygen is far less dangerous than the necessary 

daily experiment of lighting an ordinary "coal- 
oil" lamp. Very truly yours, 

Geo. R. Kleeherger. 
State Normal School. San Jose, California, 
March 24, 1S90. 

[Note by the Editor. — Another cause of explo- 
sions in preparing oxygen gas, is from the delivery- 
tube becoming stopped up by particles of solid 
matter carried over mechanically. We have even 
known a small lead tube to fuse from the heat of 
the escaping gas. The precaution of using large- 
sized delivery-tubes is obvious.] 

Editor of Popular Science News: 

A FEW gentlemen in this city, believing that 
science can be advanced in a manner at once socia- 
ble and pleasant, recently issued a call for a meeting 
of scientific men to form a club with the above 
name. On the first evening there were forty-two 
present, and twenty more will attend the next meet- 
ing. The plan of the exercises is somewhat novel. 
We meet at one of our best hotels, the Tremont 
House, at 6 P. M., and at 6.30 P. M. sit down to an 
excellent dinner, after which short papers are read 
and addresses made until 9 30 P. M., when, without 
any parley, the president declares the meeting ad- 
journed. An executive committee of five members 
manages all details. It appoints a new president 
for each meeting, selects the subject for considera- 
tion, and chooses one or two persons to lead in the 
discussion. The leaders are allowed fifteen minutes, 
but subsequent speakers only eight minutes. This 
insures condensed and terse statements, and, es- 
pecially with such comfort as a cigar can give to 
those who smoke, prevents the exercises from 
assuming a wearisome and monotonous character. 
The meetings are held every alternate Wednesday 
evening, and the expense is $1.00 for each dinner, 
and $1.00 per year to cover the cost of stationery 
and printing. The name of the club was chosen 
because it may with propriety include every subject 
of living interest at the present time, and because it 
is well adapted to influence, in some degree at least, 
the selection of members. The society is not de- 
signed for direct missionary work. Indeed, it 
would seem cruel to inveigle a heathen into such a 
society, and then, fifty against one, maul him to 
mummy. The design is rather to so cultivate the 
members, by mutual aid, that one may overcome a 
thousand. H. D. Garrison. 

Chicago, III. 


Letters of inquiry should enclose a two-cent 
stamp, as well as the name and address of the 
writer, which will not be published. 

Questions regarding the treatment of diseases 
cannot be answered in this column. 

Subscriber, Allegheny, Pa — In dissolving potash 
lye in water, the temperature of the liquid nearly 
reaches the boiling-point. What is the cause of the 
heat ? 

Answer. — The caustic potash unites chemically 
with the water, and, as in all chemical reactions 
where atoms combine with each other, a definite 
amount of heat is generated. 

B. S. T., Michigan. — What becomes of the energy 
of running water after it reaches the ocean.' 

Answer. — The energy radiated from the sun raises 
the water from the ocean to the higher levels of the 
land. A mass of water at any distance above the 
se.a-level repre-sents so much potential energy. As 
the water falls back to the ocean-level, it gives out 
this energy, which is finally converted into heat by 
friction, either directly, or by an intermediate trans- 
formation into work or power, as illustrated in every 

B. T. H., Kansas. — A travelling showman in this 
vicinity has been amusing his audiences by lightinL; 
cigars, gunpowder, etc., with an icicle. There is. 
apparently, no deception, and perhaps you can ex- 
plain how it is done. 

Answer. — It was undoubtedly accomplished by the 
aid of a small bit of metallic potassium or sodium, 
concealed in the substance to be ignited. These 
metals, when moistened, decompose the water with 
great violence, developing so much heat that the 
escaping hydrogen gas spontaneously ignites. These 
metals are not quite safe to handle, and had better 
be let alone by inexperienced persons. Serious 
burns and explosions have resulted from their care- 

J. M. N., Oregon. — What is the longest possible 
duration of a total solar eclipse.'' 

Answer. — About four minutes is the greatest dura- 
tion of totality, and it is usually much less than this. 
The greatest width of country which such an eclipsr 
can cover is 173 miles. Laughable mistakes havt- 
often been m.ade by unscientific novelists, who have 
introduced solar eclipses into their stories, in which 
the phenomena described varied widely from thosi' 
possible under astronomical laws. 

E. N. S., New liedford. — You will probably find 
citric acid, which is soUl by all druggists, a good 
substitute for lemon juice in removing fruit stains 
from the hands. It is the same acid that occurs in 
the fruit itself. 


A Satchel Guide for the Vacation Tourist in Europe. 

Second edition for 1S90. Houghton, Milllin \ 

Co., Boston. $1.50. 

This favorite guide-book, now in its nineteentli 
year, has been carefully revised for the present sea- 
son, it covers tl>e ordinary range of summer travel 
in the British Isles and on the continent, and is 
eminently sensible and practical in the information 
and advice it gives. It is compact and yet compre- 
hensive ; full enough for the vacation tourist, but 
not bewildering and tantalizing him with a loni^ 
list of minor objects which it is better to ignoiv 
than to see in a brief trip. It is particularly 
valuable for its minute and honest account of hotels 
— not only first-class, but those less expensive. 
Indeed, it seems to be the only book of its class 
which is suited lo the wants of thrifty travellers as 
well as of those who are not obliged to count the 
cost of a foreign tour. The maps are also much the 
best to be found in any European guide-book pub- 
lished on this side of the ocean. 

Foods for the Fat: a Treatise on Corpulency and a 
Dietary for its Cure, by N. E. Davies, of the , 
Royal College of Surgeons, England. Lippiucott | 
Co., Philadelphia. 75 cents. ' 

This little book contains a concise discussion of 
corpulency and its general treatment, according to 
the latest views on the subject; followed by over 
four hundred receipts for dishes suited to pcr.sons , 
who desire to reduce their weight. It might have | 
been entitled "A Cook-Book for the Corpulent," \ 
and in this respect it is, so far as we are aware, a 
new departure in "anti-fat" literature. The culi- 
nary receipts are English, but the great majority of 
them are none the less available in American fami- 
lies. ■ The book has, moreover, been adapted to 
Yankee tastes and wants by Dr. Chas. W. Cireene. 
As he remarks in his introduction, "very many of 
the recipes will be found extremely useful to the 
householder, apart from their special value in the 
treatment of obesity." Not a few of them will be 
new to our cooks. 

Essentials of Forensic Medicine, Toxicology, and Hy- 
giene, by C. E. Armand Semple. Published by 
W. B. Saunders, 913 Walnut street, Philadelphia. 
Nearly ever^' phyiiician must, at some time, be 
called upon to testify in regard to matters connected 
with his profession, or, in other w.ays, to have deal- 
ings with courts and lawyers. This little work 
gives many useful flints for such cases, and may be 
the means of saving much trouble ami anno_)'ance. 
The pages on hygiene, and the directions for the 
chemical detection of poisons, are a valuable addi- 
tion to the work. 

Chemistry : Inorganic and Organic, by Charles L. 
Bloxam. Seventh edition. Revised and edited by 
John M. Thomson and Arthur G. liloxam. Pub- 
lished by P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Philadelphia. 

Vol. XXIV. No. 6.] 



Tlie value of this admirable treatise on chemistry 
is evident by the quick succession in which the edi- 
tions follow each other; and, in fact, for a general 
work on all the different branches of the science, 
this will easily rank among the foremost. It is fully 
brought up to date, and — es])ecially in the depart- 
ment of organic chemistry — many important changes 
and additions have been made. 

The same firm publish A A'ew Medical Dictionary, 
by George M. Gould, M. I)., a compact volume of 
about 500 pages, but which, nevertheless, contains 
full definitions of all the words and phrases usually 
met with in medicine. While equally useful with 
the more bulky works of a similar character, its 
greater convenience and lower price will commend 
it to all. 


Electric Light fnstallaiions and the Management of 
Accumulators., by Sir David Solomons, C. E. 
Published by D. Van Noslrand Co., New York. 
Electrical accumulators, or storage batteries, are 
constantly coming into more extended use, and, 
although the absurd predictions first made in regard 
to them have not been realized, they have a definite 
and prominent place in electrical technology. This 
is the first book published that is entirely devoted to 
the subject, and is written by a most eminent author- 
ity on electricity. Everyone interested in the subject, 
either practically or theoretically, will find it a most 
valuable work. 

Practical Mining, by John G. Murphy, E. M. Pub- 
lished by D. Van Nostrand Co., New York. 
Investments in mining stock have an unenviable 
reputation for the uncertainty of dividends and the 
risk of total loss of capital, and those who intend 
to make such ventures would do well to first obtain 
some knowledge of the sciences of mining and 
metallurgy. Mr. Murphy's little book will be 
found especially valuable to such persons, and prac- 
tical mining engineers will also find it useful as a 
hand-book to be consulted while inspecting and 
examining mines, and for use in the field. 

Encyclopedia of the Manufactures and Products of 
the United States. The Seeger and Guernsey Co., 
New York. 

This is one of the most comprehensive commer- 
cial works ever undertaken, and should be in the 
possession of every business man. It comprises a 
list of every article manufactured or produced in the 
United States, with the address of the most reliable 
manufacturers or dealers. Price, six, eight, or ten 
dollars, according to binding. For sale by the 
Popular Science News Co. 

Every lover of birds should read the delightful 
work by Mr. Flagg, entitled A year With the Birds, 
and published by the Educational Publishing Co. , 
of 50 Bromfield street, Boston, at 75 cents. This, 
with its companion book, A Year Among the Trees, 
will furnish a great amount of pleasure and instruc- 
tion to all lovers of Nature. 

Ifow to Preserve Health, by Louis Barkun, M. D. 
American News Co., New York. 

A Perfect Memory : How to Attain It, by John A. 
Shedd. The Teachers' Publishing Co., New 

The Suppression of Consiimptiorf^hy G. W. Ilamble- 
ton, M. D. N D. C. Hodges, 47 Lafayette place, 
New York. 

Epitomes of Three Sciences : Comparative Philology, 
J'sychology, and Old Testament History. The 
Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago. Price, 75 

Patriphlets, etc., received : The Chemistry of Bone 
Charcoal, by Dr. Alfred K. Glover, Grand Haven, 
Mich. ; Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Sci- 
ence; I'uhlications of the l.ick Observatory, Mount 
Hamilton, California; Enucleation of the Eyeball, 
by J. Hobart Egbert, M. D. ; .Tournal of the Klisha 
Mitchell Scientific Society, Chapel Hill, N. C. ; 
Beport of the Illinois State Board of Health, and 
the Circulars of the U. S. Bureaus of Education and 

n^edicirje and Pljarnjacy. 

[Original in I'opular Science A'ews.] 

Captain Marryatt has justly said : "A man may 
damn his own eyes, but has no right to exercise a 
similar prerogative over other people's visual 
organs ; " and, while we shall not presume to 
"damn" at all, we shall endeavor to lead those who 
are suffering from remediable ocular defects — endur- 
ing the inconvenience, the headaches, and other 
afflictions which such defects occasion — to conduct, 
as it were, their visual organs through the courts of 
retributive justice, so that if they have given trouble, 
they may not only be sworn at, but also indicted, 
condemned to trial, and sentenced to proper correc- 

Throughout life, from youth to old age, there is a 
process of change occurring in the refractive media 
of all eyes, so that everyone who attains to a ripe 
old age will, at some time or other during his or her 
existence, be a fit subject for the oculist — or, in 
other words, will need to wear glasses. In young 
people this change is usually gradual and unper- 
ceived, but from middle life onward its effects are 
plainly apparent. Those who have normal vision 
while young will require glasses for reading when 
they have passed beyond the age of forty, and those 
who are near-sighted before this age is reached, 
need glasses in early life, if the degree of near- 
sightedness (myopia) be at all great, and yet they 
may be able to read perfectly well without glasses 
when fifty, or even sixty years of age. Persons 
who are included in this category are apt to consider 
thetnselves as lucky exceptions to general laws, and 
are usually very proud of their sharp sight. 

But not only does the eye undergo certain normal 
changes as age advances, but it may be abnormally 
formed; and hence optical defects are not only pos- 
sible, "but quite common in infants. The eye is a 
camera, and, while it may be free from disease and 
perfectly sound, still vision may be bad because the 
rays of light are not focused upon the retina. 
Hence comes the necessity for wearing glasses, for, 
by placing suitable lenses before these eyes, normal, 
distinct vision may — within certain limits — be ob- 
tained. It is not generally known that it is the 
exception, and not the rule, to find eyes that are 
perfect in shape, or, technically speaking, that are 
"emmetropic." Still it does not follow that all 
eyes that are not perfect in shape should have 
glasses fitted to them, for some errors of refraction 
do not interfere seriously with vision, and nevdr 
give rise to disease or decided discomfort to the 
patient; but, as a rule, persons whose eyes are 
"weak," or who suffer from complaints similar to 
those which we shall soon consider, should present 
themselves to some competent oculist for the detec- 
tion and subsequent correction of any existing 
errors of refraction. Let me briefly say that by 
"competent oculist" is meant one who has not only 
a knowledge of the delicate mechanism of the eye, 
but of the other organs of the body as well ; for 
abnormalities and diseases of the eye link them- 
selves very closely to diseased conditions of other 
portions of the physical economy. Consequently, 
the competent oculist is a doctor of medicine, 
although he may devote himself entirely to the 
study and practice of ophthalmology. The jeweler 
and the peddler are not proper persons to fit glasses ; 
and, while it is true that certain opticians are con- 
scientious enough to send the party to an oculist 
when they find that they cannot correctly fit a 
patient with glasses, still there are opticians who 
are less conscientious, and who, lest the acknow- 
ledgment of incapacity might lower their standard 

in the public mind, or cause the loss of a customer, 
advise glasses which are not correct in every 
respect. Moreover, the oculist has means at his 
command for the detection of errors of refraction 
which cannot be applied by the optician, and pos- 
sesses a knowledge of the proper correction of these 
errors which 3 ears of study and experience can 
alone bestow. 

There still exists quite a prejudice in the minds of 
many against the use of glasses, but why such 
prejudice should exist is very difficult of explanation 
on any other grounds than wilfulness and igno- 
rance. All ophthalmologists teach the great neces- 
sity of correcting errors of refraction by wearing 
proper glasses, and we shall herein endeavor to 
show some of the undesirable, and even portentous 
results of permitting optical defects to go uncor- 
rected. As a rule, glasses add nothing to the 
appearance of the wearer, and they are often a 
source of inconvenience, and, unless there is a 
definite object to be attained by their use, patients 
are better without them ; but where they are indi- 
cated and advised by one competent to decide, 
neither vanity nor prejudice should prevent their 
being employed. 

The purposes for which glasses should be pre- 
scribed may be briefly summed up thus : First, to 
prevent disease of the eyes from "eye strain;" 
second, to aid in the curing of certain diseases and 
abnormal conditions, by releasing all strain and 
giving the eyes rest; third, to enable the patient to 
better pursue his avocation in life; and fourth, for 
his comfort and convenience. Our consideration 
of these items must necessarily be brief and, conse- 
quently, imperfect. The first two are of paramount 
importance, and aftbrd material for many chapters 
in the study of refraction. In general, it may be 
said that all errors of refraction which reduce the 
patients' vision to any extent below the normal, or 
which produce any marked change in either the 
near or the far points, require correction by the use 
of suitable glasses. These errors are; hyperopia, 
or far-sight; myopia, or near-sight; presbyopia, or 
old-sight ; and astigmatism,, or irregular sight. 

Let us first consider the dangers from hyperopia. 
There is a constant strain, known as "an effort of 
accommodation," upon every far-sighted eye wherr 
viewing both near and remote objects. This effort 
of accommodation is a muscular exertion, and hence 
a tax upon the nervous system, and, if long con- 
tinued, results in more or less exhaustion. When 
far-sighted eyes are used for reading or near work, 
for any considerable period of time, the effort re- 
quired produces congestion and redness of the eyes, 
a larger flow of blood is seht to them, and hence 
there is an increased secretion of mucus, or " water- 
ing of the eyes ; " and, if the work be still continued, 
dizziness, headache, a feeling of sickness, or even 
actual vomiting, may be induced. But in far- 
sighted children another condition not infrequently 
arises as soon as they are made to apply themselves 
to books. The child begins to have a cast in the 
eye — that is, to squint or look " cross-eyed." At 
first the squint may be periodic, and appear only 
when close work is undertaken, but, unless means 
are employed to prevent it, it soon becomes perma- 
nent. In the great majority of cases, internal 
squint is due to hyperopia. An excessive effort of 
accommodation is always associated with increased 
convergence, and, as a far-sighted eye must alwavs 
increase its accommodation in order to gain clear 
vision, it naturally squints inward. Nervous 
twitchings of the eyelids and other portions of 
the face are sometimes occasioned by hyperopia. 
Fortunately, the condition of hyperopia can be 
easily corrected by suitable convex spherical glasses, 
and thus the conditions of weariness and exhaustion 



[June, 1890. 

of the eye», caunrli of the e^es, twitching, liead- 
aclie, etc., can l»e prevented; or, where Ihey have 
already occurred as consequences of long-sight, they 
are usually at once and permanently removed as 
goon as the hyperopia is corrected by appropriate 
glasses. Squint is also thus prevented by glasses, 
and in a certain number of cases where it is already- 
manifested in children, it may be remedied by cor- 
recting the existing error of refraction. 

Myopia, or short-sight, is often hereditary or con- 
genital, but may be acquired from prolonged strain- 
ing of the eye. This condition is not infrequently 
the precursor of serious, and sometimes irremedia- 
ble impairment of vision, and hence skilled advice 
and proper glasses are of highest importance to the 
patient in preventing the accidents to which every 
myopic eye is liable. In high degrees of myopia 
there is an excessive demand made upon the muscles 
that converge the eyes, in the efforts made to keep 
them both fixed upon small objects held close to the 
face, and sometimes, being unable to withstand this 
strain, they give out, and one eye is then turned 
outward by the opposing muscle, forming a diver- 
gent squint. Very serious intra-ocular changes, that 
are be3ond the reach of therapeutic measures, are 
sometimes occasioned by high degrees of myopia. 
Short-sighted eyes, above all others, require the 
most rigid hygiene. The vision should be rendered 
normal — except in very high degrees — by the use ol 
concave spherical glasses, and everything which 
tends to congest the eyes — such as reading or writ- 
ing in the recumbert sr stooping posture, or by 
faulty light — is to be most carefully avoided. 

Presbyopia, or the far-sight of old age, is caused 
by a lack of power of accommodation, and, although 
distant vision remains unimpaired, there is a con- 
stant recession of the near point. This is first 
noticed by the patient when he finds that he is 
obliged to hold his paper farther away from his 
eyes than before, and that the print is not so clear as 
formerly. Presbyopia is easily corrected by convex 
glasses for reading, and they should be employed as 
soon as the affection becomes manifest. It does not 
usually cause inconvenience until after the age of 
forty. Far-sightedness, when not corrected by 
appropriate glasses, causes the condition of presby- 
opia to manifest itself earlier in life than it does in 
eyes not thus affected, or in those in which the 
error has been properly corrected. 

In astigmatism, or irregular sight, the refraction 
dilfers in different portions, or meridians, of the 
eye, and the retinal image is thus confused. This 
condition is usually congenital and may be hered- 
itary ; it is, however, sometimes acquired, often 
occurring after inflamtnations of the cornea, and 
may even be occasioned by the use of improper 
glasses. It is a very common optical defect, and is 
corrected — according to the variety — either by cylin- 
drical lenses, or by combining cylindrical with either 
spherical or cylindrical lenses. Irregular astigma- 
tism cannot be entirely corrected. As astigmatism 
is either a variety of hyperopia, or of myopia, or a 
mixture of both, it can be productive of the train 
of symptoms already shown to be occasioned by 
these errors of refraction — such as headache, dizzi- 
ness, nausea, and nervous irritability; — and conse- 
quently, in all varieties of astigmatism, suitable 
glasses (preferably spectacles) should be worn con- 
tinually, for both distant and near vision. 

A different refractive condition in the two eyes of 
the same person is quite common. One eye may be 
correct, and the other long-sighted or short-sighted ; 
or they may have different degrees of the same 
defect; or, again, one eye may be long-sighted and 
the other short-sighted. And since, in such cases, 
the condition of one eye can scarcely be improved 
by the same glass adapted to correct the error in the 

other, the vast impropriety of selecting glasses at 
random from the counter of a dealer, is plainly 
obvious. Both eyes must be tested separately, and 
fitted accordingly. Where it is known that presby- 
opia — the condition due to age — alone exists, pa- 
tients may select their own glasses, for at any given 
time the amount of presbyopia is usually the same 
in both eyes, and may be corrected for anv given 
distance, according to the needs or convenience of 
the patient. As age iidvances, the amount of pres- 
byopia increases, and new and stronger glasses will 
be from time to time required. 

Ileterophoria, or weakness of some one or more 
of the ocular muscles, is very often a complication 
of some error of refraction. In this condition there 
is a continual strain upon the weaker muscle in 
order to do its work, and this alone will cause very 
many headaches, neuralgias, and general nervous 
symptoms. We have already considered this sub- 
ject in cases where the irregular action of the 
muscles of the eyeball is sufficiently marked to 
produce squint, but ofttimes there is merely a loss of 
function, which can be determined only by careful 
examination. This condition, which is termed 
muscular insufliciency, is overcome by correcting 
the refractive error, and combining the glasses thus 
required with properly selected and applied prisms. 

Let us now look at some common troubles not 
generally known to be due to ocular defects. Not a 
small number of reflex neuroses are caused by these 
defects. Headaches which come on after sewing, 
reading, watching a play, or otherwise using the 
visual organs in a special direction for a period of 
time, are usually the direct results of these defects. 
Neuralgia, dizziness, mental depression, melan- 
cholia, chorea (St. Vitus' dance), and even epilepsy, 
have been shown to be directly dependent, in certain 
cases, upon refractive errors for their causation. 
Out of nine cases of epilepsy in which there were 
optical defects, recently experimented upon, four 
cases were positively cured by correction of the 
defects ; two of the cases were entirely relieved for 
periods of four and six months, respectively; in 
another case the fits were greatly reduced in number 
during a given period of time, after the application 
of proper spectacles; while two cases were not 
influenced by glasses. Recurring styes are not in- 
frequently due to some optical defect, and when 
thus occasioned they are to be cured, not by pulling 
out the lashes, but by having the defect corrected. 

That by improving his defective vision, one is 
enabled to pursue life's duties to better advantage, 
and with increased convenience to himself, need not 
be insisted upon. Some people go through much 
or all of life content — through ignorance or preju- 
dice — with seeing but half of their surroundings, 
and often enduring the ills which we have seen to 
result from remediable ocular defects. To some 
people glasses are a revelation— revealing powers 
and beauties of vision never before known to exist 

In conclusion, let me repeat, that in the condi- 
tions herein briefly considered, glasses not only 
increase the power of vision and greatly relieve the 
work of the eye, but they actually prevent the 
occurrence of certain diseases of the eye, and ol 
reflex affections in other parts of the body, and 
effect the preservation of good vision throughout 
life. J. II. E. 

Discriminating Providence. — It is remarked as 
a singularly thoughtful dispensation of Providence 
in Boston, that the influenza attacked most frequently 
and severely those who were at work on salary, and 
that those who worked by the piece or day were 
either spared entirely or had light attacks. "Tem- 
pering the wind to the shorn lamb" is what one 
paper calls it 

[Original in P.ipulur Svi-nce iVewS-i 



Check oft' on your fingers — the fingers of one 
hand will be sufficient — the number of women you 
know who^are engaged in the practice of pharmacv. 
By this I mean women who are skillful prescription- 
ists and successful druggists. I need only one hand 
and two fingers to check off the number I know. 

Why are there not more women engaged in this 
work.' We have women clerks, book-keepers, type- 
writers, stenographers, j-eporters, lawyers, physi- 
cians, dentists, — but how few women pharmacists. 
Of course, we all know women in city drug stores 
who sell the little perfumed odds and ends — the 
powders, rouges, puft's, scented soaps, etc. — that 
live in the great show-cases. But do these women 
ever go behind the prescription-case.' If you hand 
them one of those square, gilt-edged slips of paper, 
whereon a doctor has illegibly scrawled his auto- 
graph, do they not, aft'ably, as a matter of course, 
wave you on to the "prescription-clerk.'" 

In this country the practice of pharmacy goes 
hand in hand with the drug business. And I do 
not hesitate to say that there is no work and no 
business to which woman is really better adapted 
than to this. Her fingers are light, her touch is 
delicate and sensitive; her sleeping hours are — or 
should be — longer than those of her brother pre- 
scriplionist, and her mind, in consequence, clearer 
and more vigorous; her nerves strong and steady. 
She is light of foot and movement, quick, neat, and 
conscientious. Making an ointment is as fascinat- 
ing a work as rubbing to a cream a cup of butter 
and two cups of sugar — the first step toward making 
a flaky cake which a good housewive invariably 
takes; making an emulsion is not more dillicult 
than smoothly mixing a salad, so the oil and vinegar 
will smother their antagonisms and softly blend, to 
the delight of the epicurean; even the rolling, cut- 
ting, and gilding of pills is interesting and delight- 
ful work. 
Then why are there not more women in pharmacy .' 
"The hours are too long and the pay is too small." 
True. Yet not true, either; for good drug clerks 
are very scarce, and they get their own price and 
their own hours. We all know the drug clerk who 
meanders meekly behind the counter and looks at 
a customer with a blank, questioning stare, as if he 
had found life, marriage, and everything else a 
failure, and didn't care who knew it, either. He 
says, " Yes'm," or "No'm," or "It looks like rain," 
or "It looks like snow," — as the state of affairs may 
require ; and the next time a box of lozenges is 
wanted the customer looks up a drug store with an 
agreeable clerk. But there is a kind of clerk who is 
worth his weight in gold. In the first place, he is 
thoroughly coinpetent. He looks carefully at the 
label of a bottle when he takes it down, and again 
when he replaces it. His employer does not lie 
awake nights with the imaginary honor hanging 
over him of a fatal mistake on the part of his clerk. 
He knows what to say to a customer, and — best of 
all— he knows what not to say. With his eyes alone 
he can hold four or five customers waiting while 
he serves one. In a word, he is a pharmacist, a 
thorough business man, and a refined gentleman, 
and he will receive all the way from $100 to $150 a . 
month, because he will be worth that to his em- 1 
ployer, and in the near future he will have a drug 
store of his own. 

There is no earthly reason why a woman should 
not be as valuable as a man ; nor is there any reason 
why she should not save her earnings, and some 
day own a modest store herself A girl of fifteen 
years of age, who has a plain, sensible education, — | 

Vol.. XKIV. No. 6.] 



as public school educations go, — is old enough to 
enter a school of pharmacy. She will have to put 
her whole attention to it, be interested in it, and 
study failhfullv- In two years she ought to gradu- 
ate. In the meantime she should be in a drugstore 
a few hours each day. She should always be neat, 
cheerful, and attractive, wearing sensible gowns 
and low-heeled, easy boots, but not forgetting pretty 
laces and ribbons. 

Remember the story of the old, rough miner who 
went into a store and was struck speechless by the 
bright eyes and sweet smile of the young lady 
behind the counter. 

'• Well, bless my soul ! " he said, at last, taking olf 
his hat and bowing to the ground; "I aint seen a 
wom'n with sech bright eyes since m' little sister 
dfed. I didn't want a thing w'en I cum in liyer, but 
Tfii a go'n t' buy somethin' now, yuh bet!" 

The following day that young lady's salary was 
raised, simply because she had given as kindly a 
smile to an old, shabby man as she would have 
given to a millionaire. This, by the way, is a true 

The young girl who enters a drug store must be 
willing to do anything and everything that would 
be required of a boy, and, what is still more iinpor- 
tant, to do it cheerfully — never grudgingly. She 
should even be willing to wash bottles and clean 
lamps, sweep, dust, and polish show-cases. She 
must have no false pride. Such work is no harder, 
and certainly no more degrading, when done in a 
store than when performed at home. If you are 
ashamed to work you will never amount to anything 
— so there is no use trying to help you. II you are 
ashamed to work, by all means marry some old man 
for his money and dawdle your life away as a society 
(pieen ; shop, call, dance, receive, lounge about in 
tea gowns, and have ^our pictirre in all the illus- 
trated newspapers, as the "young and beautiful 
Mrs. So-and-So," — and be sure that you wear a low- 
gown and no sleeves. This is what women were 
created for — a long time ago. 

But, girls, if you want to work, you will find 
nothing so pleasant, so interesting, and, withal, so 
fascinating as the drug business. Your studies will 
be difBcult, your discipline severe, your apprentice- 
ship hard, and your trials and disappointments 
many ; but you will be rewarded. By the time you 
are twenty-two or twenty-three you will be a 
successful business woman, and you will be inde- 
pendent of everyone and proud of yourself. Do not 
ever be content to be a second-rate drug clerk 
though, for he comes next to the dude in insignifi- 
cance. Be first-class, be thorough, be self-reliant, 
be conscientious, be affable, be cheerful, and, above 
and beyond all, — in the drug business, — be sure. 

There is, I know, a mighty prejudice against 
" wimmen folks 'n a 'pothecary shop;" but Ih.t, 
must be lived down. Be the first, or among the 
first, to live it down. To be a thorough pharmacist 
and a successful business wom^a means that you 
must be proud of yourself; means that you will be 
sought by employers, instead of seeking employ- 
ment; means that you will be busy and happy and 
independent. Besides, it is a business that is not 
overrun, and a business that will not be supplanted 
by some new invention for doing the same work. 
We will always require doctors and doctors' pre- 
scriptions, and we will take them to the most com- 
petent prescriptionists to have them compounded. 

I know a woman who went to a young Oregon 
town, — a new railroad town, — where drinking, 
swearing, fights, and murders were of almost 
nightly occurrence. She took a position in a drug 
store, and she found her pathway full of thorns. 
Everyone looked at her suspiciously. They were 
afraid of her; afraid she didn't understand what she 

was about; afraid she would give them strychnine 
instead of Epsom salt, or laudanum instead of pare- 
goric; afraid of anything and everything under the 
sun, — simply because she was a woman. But she 
did not grow discouraged. She never gave the 
thought of failure a.n instant's lodgment in her 
brain. She worked cheerfully and faithfully. If a 
man rudely and surlily declined to let her '• fill his 
prescription," she sweetly gave him a handful of 
pretty cards " for his children" — although the little 
hypocrite knew that he had none. When an old 
farmer had kept her standing half an hour while he 
looked over books, and finally asked for an "allmy- 
nic," she gave it to him as cheerfully and as prettily 
as if it had been twenty dollars' worth of drugs. 
She never became nervous or flustrated ; as railroad 
men s.-jy, she never got "rattled." She was always 
sure she was right, which gave her an air of self- 
possession which invited confidence. She was a 
good salesw Oman. She learned to buy and to sell ; 
and she gradually worked her way to 'success. 
Today people enter that store and inquire for her, 
instead of asking rudely, as they once did, if there 
"ain't a wa» 'bout th' shop." Every railroad man, 
every gambler, every woman (good or bad), and 
every old farmer from twenty n,iles out in the 
country knows hers and respects her. 

"Why," said a society lady who was out riding 
with her one day, "did that roughly-dressed man 
lift his hat to you /" 

"lie did," she replied, amusedly; "and what is 
more, I gave him my sweetest smile, and was more 
sincerely glad to have him do me honor than I 
would be to have one of your 'dudes' go down on 
his knees to me." 

But, first of all, girls, make up your minds that 
you want to work, and to work well. Never do 
anything by halves. Do not think you can rush 
through a course of pharmacy and enter a drug 
stare and carry everything before you. Impress 
upon your mind that those long rows of glittering 
bottles hold life and death, and that each cut stopper 
must be removed with care and with steady fingers 
and clear eyes. Only think how many, many dif- 
ferent things there are, and each has from one to 
six different names, — and you must know them all. 
Think, too, that you must know how each looks, 
smells, tastes; its properties, its dose, its antidote; 
if it be a poison. You must know a very great 
deal, and you must be able to look as if you knew 
still more. I realize what I am taking upon myself 
in making that last assertion, and I do not hesitate 
to repeat it. In a drug store, you may be wise as a 
seer, but if you are so unfortunate as to look nervous 
or uncertain, it is all up with you. There is another 
thing, too. Do not expect to be "favored,"' or to 
Inve things made easy for you because you are a 
woman. Be womanly, always, but if you take a 
man's place, do his work also. If your employer 
tries to make your work lighter, accept and appre- 
ciate his kindness ; but do not expect it. 

Girls, do you want to try it.' If you do, and if 
you try honestly and patiently, you will succeed, 
and you will be delighted with your work. Anyone 
can learn to sell yards on yards of ribbons and laces 
over a counter — can even make a good and efficient 
clerk — without being educated or refined ; but, to 
make a successful pharmacist, he must be both. 

I have known drug clerks who were competent, 
honest, industrious, and of good habits, who were 
not worth $50 a month to any employer. Why? 
Simply because they were machines. They knew 
that Sulph. Magnesia is Epsom Salt, it is true; but 
they spelled teaspoonful with a double 1, "several," 
" severeal ; " "daily," "daly;" they had a dreamy, 
vacant look in their eyes, as if they might be com- 
posing spi'ing poems by the yard ; in arranging a 

show-case, they placed all the dressing-cases, all the 
toilet-cases, all the reds, blues, and yellows together, 
instead of arranging them so the colors would blend 
and soften each other, and gave as their e.\cuse that 
" it made things sort o' handy I " But druggists are 
always on the lookout for good clerks, and they pay 
them well. Therefore, my dear girl, be a good one ; 
be a thorough one; be a sure, a firm, a competent 
one ; be one that everybody will want. You can do 
it. You are as bright and as self-reliant as your 
brother; and if you will just make up your mind to 
take the bitter along with the sweet, it will all come 
right. And Miss So-and-So, Ph. G., will answer in 
a firm, strong, business hand many of those little 
advertisements of "Wanted — a competent drug 
clerk," — and she will get the situation, too. 


Dr. II. I. BowDiTCii, of Boston, one of the most 
eminent sanitarians in this country, in an interest- 
ing paper read before the American Climatological 
Association, gives some interesting personal obser- 
vations relative to the benefits te consumptive 
patients from exercise in the open air. He says 
that his father, at thirty-five years of age, had all 
the signs of consumption — cough, hemorrhage from 
the lungs, diarrhcua, fever, emaciation, and great 
debility. In this condition he set out on a tour 
through New England, travelling in a chaise with a 
friend for a companion, and a driver. At the end 
of the first day's travel he was so much exhausted 
by hemorrhage that his friend was advised to take 
him home to die. He, however, persisted in his 
effort, and every day brought him added strength. 
He travelled on this tour 748 miles, and returned 
home greatly improved in every respect. He lived 
thirty years after this, dying at the age of sixty-five 
years of cancer of the stomach. It was his custom 
during these thirty years to walk two or three times 
daily from one,ind a half to two miles. 

Further, Dr. Bowditch says his father married his 
cousin, who died, after many years of infirmity, of 
consumption. There were eight children as the 
result of this union, six of whom reached adult life. . 
According to all laws of heredity it would be ex- 
pected that at least there would be a marked predis- 
position to lung disease. The facts show, however, 
that of ninety-three children and grandchildren not 
one showed the least trace of consumption. The 
doctor believes this condition was the result of his 
father having required all his children to take all 
exercise out doors possible, knowing the great bene- 
fit that had come to him from such a course. 

tie says : " If any of us, while attending school, 
were observed to be drooping, or made the least 
pretense even of being not exactly well, he took us 
from school, and very often sent us to the country to 
have farm life and out-of-door play to our hearts' 
content. In consequence of this early instruction, 
all of his descendants have become thoroughly im- 
pressed with the advantages of daily walking, of 
summer vacations in the country, and of camping 
out, etc., among the mountains. These habits have 
been transmitted, I think, to his grandchildren, in a 
stronger form, if possible, than he himself had them." 

In conclusion he said : "I submit these facts and 
thoughts tor candid, mature, and practical consider- 
ation and use in the treatment all are called to make 
of this terrible scourge in all parts of this Union. 
For my own part, I fully believe that many patients 
now die from want of .this open-air treatment. 
For years I have directed every consumptive patient 
to walk daily from three to six miles ; never to stay 
all day at home unless a violent storm is raging. 
When they are in doubt about going out, owing to 
bad weather, I direct them to solve the doubt, not 
by staying in the house, but by going out." 



[June, 1890 , 


The deformity from prominent and projecting 
ears is oftentimes very distressing to the unfortunate 
wearer, and may lend a decidedly asinine effect to 
an otherwise worthy and dignified individual. 
Many a person thus afflicted would be only too 
willing to undergo an operation to remedy the 
defect, if he but knew that such means of relief 
existed. It is true that the deformity is not a 
serious one, objectively speaking, but still it is well 
worthy of attention and treatment. The operation 
required is quite a simple one, and should be almost 
invariably successful if carefully performed. 

The operation seems to have been first performed 
by the late Dr. E. T. Ely, of New York, who re- 
moved an oval piece comprising nearly the whole 
length of the auricle and through its entire thick- 
ness, thus including the skin on its anterior surface. 
This, of course, involved a scar which would always 
be visible from in front. 

Dr. W. W. Keen, of Philadelphia, describes a 
similar operation in the Annals of Surgery, which 
he seems to have originated without knowing that 
anyone had preceded him in the matter. His oper- 
ation is preferable to Ely's, since the only scar left 
is a linear one on the back of the auricle, which is 
usually visible only by standing behind and looking 
carefully for it. 

The operation, as described, is as follows : A 
long oval portion of the skin is removed from the 
posterior surface of the auricle, the cartilage being 
laid bare by its dissection. In the long axis of the 
oval excision of the skin, a long, narrow piece is 
removed from the cartilage itself, V-shaped on cross 
section like the furrow of a plough. Great care 
must be taken not to cut through the skin on the 
anterior surface of the auricle. Stitches of catgut, 
three or four in number, are passed through the 
skin on the sides of the wound so" as to bring it 
together. The edges of the cartilage may also be 
united with a few catgut stitches, and this seems to 
be preferable, though the results have thus far been 
equally satisfactory without them. The excision' is 
attended with free bleeding, which, however, is 
easily controlled. Antisepsis must, of course, be 
observed during the operation and in the dressings. 
The patient may be up and about the next day, 
but unless the stitches drop out they should not be 
removed before the tenth day, in order to secure 
firm union. — Medical Review. 

[Original in Popular Science Xews.] 


Mr. Thompson, of S. Maw, Son & Thompson, 
London, tells a story of his son Willie, aged six 
years, moribund with typhoid — quite insensible, 
abdomen tympanitic, pulse failing, and said by his 
physicians "not to last the night out." Carbolic 
acid was given with some goed effect, while the 
doctor staid up all night at the bedside; but the 
coma continued. Finally, the father, knowing that 
the boy was intensely fond of music, procured a 
nice, large music-box. He asked his soon if he 
would like to hear it play. No response, and no 
sign of recognition. The music-box was set agoing. 
It was not long before his countenance changed and 
his body became uneasy. After a while he turned 
over on to his side. The box was put behind his 
back. After another tune he turned over to it, and 
became conscious so as to respond to questions. 
"Now see here," said Mr. Thompson, "this is for 
your own use, and shall be called Willie's music- 
box." The boy showed signs of pleasure and 
wished it kept playing. The result was reaction 

continued; he responded to treatment and recov- 
ered. Certainly, music was a medicine in this case. 


The latest strategy of a Paris paper for attracting 
readers is the engagement of two eminent physi- 
cians to attend gratuitously upon its annual sub- 
scribers. Recently the manager of the paper gave 
notice to one of the physicians "not to prescribe 
for B any more; his subscription has expired." 
The doctor replied : " So also has B." 

The Number of Dentists in Germany. — 
According to Borner's Reichs- Medicinal Kalender, 
there are 16,864 medical men and 514 dentists in 
practice among a population of 46,840,587 inhab- 
itants in the German empire, while the number of 
chemists' shops is 4.671, and of hospitals 2,737. I" 
the face of these figures it may be truly said that the 
dental profession is not overcrowded in the Father- 

Cocaine Pencils for Use on the Skin. — A 
writer in the British Medical Journal makes a sug- 
gestion which is easily convertible into a capital 
article for a cosmetic "special." It is, in short, a 
pencil, or "stick," for use on the chafed and irri- 
tated skin, or on skins very susceptible to insect 
bites, etc. He says that an addition of two per 
cent, of cocaine to the ordinary cacoa butter pencils 
converts the latter into a cosmetic remedy, which 
gives almost instant relief when rubbed over the 
irritated spot. 

Transplanting Tuberculosis. — The State 
Board of Health of California has been greatly 
exercised over the danger to which it believed 
the State is exposed through the immigration of 
a large number of persons suffering from tubercu- 
losis. It even suggested, in a recent bulletin, the 
advisability of establishing a strict quarantine 
against consumptives until measures of isolation 
and disinfection could be undertaken. The daily 
press of San Francisco has not been slow to take 
up the question, and the result has been a scare and 
a sensation of such magnitude that even the pro- 
posed prize-fight has been for the moment for- 

Edison's New Phonograph as a Universal 
Acoumeter. — Dr. Lichtwitz, of Bordeaux, (Annales 
des Mai. de I' Oreille et da Larynx), believes that the 
phonograph combines all the requisites of a good 
acoumeter. Its use will enable the otologist to 
measure auditory acuity as accurately as the oculist 
is able to measure visual acuity, and by methods 
quite analogous. An acoumeter, to be satisfactory, 
should possess the power of emitting all sounds 
and noises perceptible to the normal ear, including 
speech with all its varied inflections. It should, at 
will, reproduce sounds with uniform intensity and 
quality, so as to permit a comparison between the 
hearing power of different patients, as also of the 
same patient at different periods. It should always 
be of the same construction, so that aurists of all 
lands may compare their observations. It should 
not occupy much space, nor require much time for 
its employment. It should measure the hearing 
capacity, not only through the medium of the 
external ear, but also through the medium of the 
cranial bones. The new phonograph of Edison, as 
now used, fulfils all these requirements except the 
last. All methods heretofore employed are far in- 
ferior. None of them could furnish a fixed volume 
of sound for purposes of comparison at different 
times and places. The results obtainable from the 
use of a watch, moreover, were never very reliable, 
it being impossible to eliminate accurately the effects 
due to expectant attention and imagination. 

published monthly by the 

Popular Science News Company, 

5 Somerset Street, Boston. 





The Publishers of the NEWS earnestly request that sub. 
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Remittances will be duly credited on the printed address 
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iate^. If a formal receipt is desired, a two-cent stamp or a 
postal card should be enclosed with the remittance. 

Publislicrs' Colui^ij. 

In considering the wonders accomplished with printers' ink, 
due credit sliould be given to the Esterbrook Steel Pen 
with which the printers* copy was written. 

"Your neck-tie slips up and around under your ear?" 
Walter J. Ball, Townsend, Mass., sends you " Solid 
Comfort" Tie-holder by mail for lo cents. 

TiiK next annual meeting of the American Society of Micro- 
scopists will be held in Louisville, Ky., August 12 to 15, inclu- 
sive. Particulars will be furnished by the local Secretary, Mr. 
Simon Flexner. 

Ridge's Food still maintains its place in the foremost rank 
of the numberless artificial foods which Iiave been placed upon 
the market since its introduction. The fact of its meeting 
competition so successfully is a good proof of its superior 

The "Jewel" Gasolene Stoves, advertised in this num- 
ber, are worthy the attention of those desiring such a stove for 
use during the coming summer. These stoves have been 
largely used in the West, and are said to have given the best 

The remarkable efficacy of the Buffalo Lithia Water in 
certain affections of the kidneys and bladder is testified to by 
many physicians of the highest standing, and it is well worth a 
trial in cases where other varieties of mineral water have 
proved unsatisfactory. 

We believe that the Chas. II. Phillips Chemical Co. have 
advertised in the Science News for a longer period than any 
other patron of our columns. This is one of the best evidences 
of the standard and reliable character of their medicinal and 
pharmaceutical prei>arattons, which, since their first introduc- 
tion, have been fully appreciated by the medical profession for 
the purity of their materials and the skill with which they are 

We can heartily recommend the Whole Wheat Meal 
manufactured at the Arlington Mills, and advertised in this 
number. The entire grain of the wheat contains all the ele- 
ments necessary for the proper nutrition of the body, many of 
which are lost in the process of " bolting." Arlington Meal is 
very different from common graham flour, is extremely palata- 
ble, and those who use it soon learn to jireler it to ordinary fine 
white flour. 

We recently inspected a large Refrigerating Apparatus 
and Ice Machine constructed by David Boyle, oi Chicago, 
for a brewery in Qiiincy, Illinois. It was designed to replace a 
smaller one, from the same manufacturer, which had been in 
use for a number of years and given entire satisfaction. The 
new apparatus will render the brewery entirely independent of 
the uncertain meteorological conditions which affect the supply 
of natural ice. 

From James A. Sewell, A. M., M. D., Dean of the Medical 
Faculty, Laval University, t^icbec : 

I am using a good deal of " Colden's LiqL'in Beef Tonic " 
in my practice, and have every reason to be satisfied with it. I 
have found it particularly useful in the advanced stages of con- 
sumption, and in organic diseases of the liver, when the 
stomach has been very irritable. In pregnant women it has 
been retained, while every other article of diet was rejected. I 
can recommend it as convenient, palatable, and easy of